PASADENA, California — Whether it's talking out of his butt or showing up to the MTV Movie Awards as a hippie burnout, Jim Carrey is known as a kamikaze comedian, willing to go to any lengths for a laugh. Early Monday morning, from high atop an overpass known locally as "Suicide Bridge," the 46-year-old actor only had to go roughly 150 feet — straight down.
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for comedy," Carrey joked while standing on the edge of the bridge, readying himself to bungee jump for a scene in his upcoming project "Yes Man." "I've never been so regular!"
Based on the memoirs of British comedian Danny Wallace, the movie follows the adventures of Carrey as he challenges himself to say yes to every opportunity that comes his way. It's an extreme position that, on the flick's last day of shooting, led to him clinging from a steel post, high above a suddenly rushing torrent, overflowing with a week's worth of heavy rain — ready to leap.
"It's pretty mental," Carrey said of his bungee jump. "[But], I mean [my character] tries to get back with his girlfriend and she tells him to go jump off a bridge. He has to do it!"
Call it the Zen of "yes," the "have to do it" mentality that Carrey seems to have taken as gospel, even when other, let's just say "more insurable," people could have taken his place. For that matter, they could have done the whole thing in studio, laughed an exhilarated Carrey.
"They were gonna do this on a green screen where I would hang on in front of the camera and they would bounce me up and down. And I said, 'I'm gonna be there, man!' " Carrey smiled. "This is what you've gotta do to compete with Britney Spears!"
Indeed, wearing a yellow jacket and blue jeans, the affable star looked unreasonably calm, even as a light rain besotted an unseasonably cold Los Angeles day, as he replaced his stuntman for the day's initial jump. "The first time in history," an excited Carrey bellowed, "that an actor stepped in for a stunt man."
But, then, bad weather or no, the day was Carrey's chance to affirm the mantra of "yes," the actor told MTV News.
"I think any extreme is kind of weird, but if you said yes to everything in life, you'd be better off than if you said no, and that's your lesson for today," Carrey laughed almost immediately after jumping. "I wanted to reclaim [Suicide Bridge], man, in the name of life. Next time somebody comes up here to do that, they'll go, 'I can't jump where Jim Carrey was doing goofy stuff. I have to find a much more dramatic location!' "
By saying yes to life, Carrey insists he's never felt better. And "I've been to some good concerts," he joked.
"[It was] definitely one of the most adrenalizing things I've ever felt. It was like a freight train going through me, it was unbelievable," Carrey beamed. "I swear to God, I'm not kidding you, I don't do drugs, but I'm super-high right now."
And, watch out, Carrey said — the mantra is infectious.
"You know, it's a weird thing. I mean, ['Yes Man' is] a comedy — we're not trying to teach anybody anything really here," he said. "But I really think that people are going to see this movie and actually say yes to a lot more things than would have if they hadn't seen the movie.
"There's gonna be people out there getting pregnant here over this," he continued, still laughing. "That's so irresponsible to say that to the MTV audience. Say yes to your boyfriends. Say yes!"
Crazy, yes. But in a career full of craziness, where does bungee jumping rank for Carrey?
"Well, I have been married a couple of times, so that definitely competes," Carrey chuckled. "Once you've done that — [a] bungee jump is nothing, really."
Audiences can say yes to "Yes Man," when the film opens December 19.
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