“At some point when you create yourself to make it, you’re going to have to either let that creation go and take a chance on being loved or hated for who you really are, or you’re going to have to kill who you really are and fall into your grave grasping a character you never were.”Jim Carrey
Ostensibly a documentary centred around Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, in drawing parallels between them it actually becomes a superior examination of Kaufman’s work with some interesting musings about the nature of identity. Carrey is reflective about what he discovered that people responded to in his successful comedies, but Man on the Moon was a departure, a role Carrey pushed for because of the kinship he felt with the misunderstood Kaufman. There was something decidedly Kaufmanesque about Carrey’s insistence that was Kaufman during filming, possessed by the deceased comedian. Whilst this caused familiar method acting disruption, it went further as Carrey appears to have developed genuine connections with Kaufman’s family, who treated him affectionately rather than with horror. It is fascinating to see the rare moments when Carrey does break character — after one actor storms out and a crew member is brought to tears remembering her father, he opines, “I’m a terrible person” — and yet, through that fiction, people were connecting with something real; it was precisely what Andy Kaufman sought to achieve.