When Jim Carrey first leaped onto our screens in 1994 gurning and gyrating his way through Ace Venture: Pet Detective, few foresaw a credible acting career for the Canadian former-stand up. But gradually, Carrey branched out from the rubber-jawed typecast to shine in some more cerebral roles. This powerful combination of serious acting chops and comedy shines once again in his latest film I Love You Philip Morris. Here, we present five moments from Carrey's career that show him at his critical - and clownish best.
The Mask (1994): Playing a loser, Stanley Ipkiss, who finds a mask that imbues him with the spirit of the Norse god of mischief, Carrey puts in a blockbuster performance as a frantic, charismatic comic book hero with a penchant for anarchy. It earns him a Golden Globe nomination. The film also introduces us to the leggy delights of Cameron Diaz.
Dumb & Dumber (1994): Carrey's turn as Lloyd Christmas cements his reputation as the most dependable comic actor of this generation as well as landing him 'cult' status in a film that still inspires a loyal following today. More significantly, it establishes him as a muse for the enduring masters of gross-out, low-concept comedy: The Farrelly Brothers.
The Truman Show (1998): Two years prior to The Truman Show, Carrey had given his first hint at being a 'serious' actor in the underrated black comedy The Cable Guy - a foray that backfired so spectacularly that he went out and immediately made the by-numbers comedy Liar Liar. But it is as Truman Burbank, the man trapped since birth in a giant reality soap opera, that Carrey shows us he is capable of moving, nuanced performances.
Man On The Moon (1999): After winning a Golden Globe for The Truman Show, Carrey seizes another one for his portrayal of troubled American comedian Andy Kaufman. This is Carrey's The Wrestler moment - the inter-playing of life and art on screen as Carrey becomes a frustrated comic struggling to be 'understood' by his producers and the public.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): Appearing like a finish line in Carrey's ten-year journey from Pet Detective to credible actor, Eternal Sunshine boasts a fashionable director (Michel Gondry) and the most original script-writer of the 2000s (Charlie Kaufman - Being John Malkovich, Adaptation). In a fractured, neo-surrealist narrative hung around the concept of memory-erasement, Carrey’s performance absolves him of his awful turn as The Riddler in 1995's truly awful Batman Forever. Sam Parker
I Love You Philip Morris is out now