Jim Carrey’s Controversial Change of Heart

June 30, 2013

Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars & Stripes

[on being asked what his personal motto is] “Always turn your wheel in the direction of the skid.” –Jim Carrey

When Universal Pictures cast Jim Carrey in the sequel to the cult-favorite Kick-Ass, those at the helm were likely convinced adding the A-list star would bring prodigious publicity to the film. And it certainly has. But rather than having their award-winning star go out and enthusiastically promote Kick-Ass 2, Carrey has abruptly opted out of supporting the flick altogether. Indeed, Carrey recently tweeted, “I did ‘Kickass’ a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence;” following up with another post saying: “My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

The role that Carrey wants to disassociate himself from is that of the bad-ass masked Colonel Stars & Stripes who wields a baseball bat while fighting crime. But in particular, Carrey has expressed objection to the film’s overall “level of violence.” The award-winning comic book author who created the Kick-Ass characters for a Marvel comic series, Mark Millar, has praised Carrey’s performance, calling it “magnificent.” But in response to Carrey’s tweets, Millar posted on the Millarworld website his bewilderment with Carrey’s U-turn saying:

“…Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I’m baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high…. ‘Kick-Ass’ avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence, whether it’s the ramifications for friends and family or, as we saw in the first movie, Kick-Ass spending six months in hospital after his first street altercation. Ironically, Jim’s character in ‘Kick-Ass 2’ is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place.”

Bloggers have since been expressing support for Carrey’s kick-ass determination to fight for a just cause; others have emphasized that movie violence is merely pretend and shouldn’t be confused with reality; and quite a few have criticized him saying they want to see him donate the money he makes from the film to support gun control groups.

While Kick-Ass 2 is set for a US release on August 16, Carrey filmed Colonel Stars & Stripes one month before the Newtown shootings. After the shocking Sandy Hook tragedy in which twenty children and six adults died, Jim Carrey spoofed the late Charlton Heston by creating a Funny or Die skit called Cold Dead Hands based on one of Heston’s pro-gun speeches as former president of the National Rifle Association.

Jim Carrey is no stranger to standing up for his political beliefs. He has criticized the scientific consensus that no evidence links the childhood MMR vaccination to the development of autism. He stated his case in an article for the Huffington Post questioning the merits of pushing vaccines on children and led a “Green Our Vaccines” march in Washington D.C. raising public awareness about the toxic ingredients contained in children’s vaccines as well as advocating his belief that children receive “too many vaccines, too soon, many of which are toxic.” 

So what do you think about Carrey’s change of heart? Being an aspiring actor, you may one day find yourself in a similarly conflicted position after portraying a role or even after a series of roles. Should actors be given license to disown a project after they have been paid for that role?