One of Jim Carrey’s finest performances is seen, for the first time, in a new light as Chris Smith’s documentary goes behind the scenes of Milos Forman’s Man On The Moon, the offbeat biopic based on the life and work of Andy Kaufman.
Netflix announced earlier this month that it had acquired rights to Chris Smith’s fascinating documentary about Jim Carrey’s immersion into character as Andy Kaufman for the 1999 movie Man On The Moon. The film, which was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, delves into the behind the scenes footage, seen for the very first time, of Carrey on set as Kaufman in Milos Forman’s offbeat biopic.
Using approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of Man on the Moon documenting Carrey’s transformation into Kaufman for four months, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond premiered at the 2017 Venice Film Festival and is produced by Academy Award winner Spike Jonze, and VICE Films’ Danny Gabai and Brendan Fitzgerald.
Carrey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for the performance, but many of the production’s most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, thankfully captured on video by Andy’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda. In Jim & Andy, Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes, his experience channelling Andy and Tony and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career.
Watch the trailer:
“For almost two decades this brilliant performance from Jim Carrey has resonated with audiences and fans of Kaufman’s, but the story behind the film – a true piece of entertainment history has remained largely unknown,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentaries for Netflix. “Chris Smith and Spike Jonze have masterfully unearthed and explored Jim’s complex and artful creative process, hurling audiences right into the mind of a genius.”
What followed director Milos Forman’s casting of Carrey as Andy Kaufman was an intensely bizarre and emotional film production. Surrounded by Kaufman’s friends and family on set, Carrey thoroughly “became” Andy and, alternately, Tony Clifton, Kaufman’s obnoxious lounge singer alter ego. Much like Kaufman’s comedy, Carrey’s acting took on a performance art quality during the film. He never broke character on set, the cast and the crew referred to him as either ‘Andy’ or ‘Tony’ depending on who he was embodying (he had created complete and separate identities for each).
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond premieres globally on November 17 – exclusive to Netflix.
Discover More: Top 10 Films of Jim Carrey