Typecasting is when actors get repeatedly assigned to the same type of role, as a result of the appropriateness of their appearance or previous success in such roles.
Johnny Depp is typecasted as the loveable lunatic, Morgan Freeman is typecasted as the wise mentor, Christopher Walken is typecasted as psychotic, and Jim Carrey as the goofball who can make all the hilarious facial expressions.
But for Carrey, one movie broke the stereotype. I’m referring to the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, then watch it. It’s one of those films you don’t expect much from, but it ends up surprising you in every way. There shouldn’t be any spoilers, maybe minor ones. But none that I can think of.
Jim Carrey plays Joel alongside Kate Winslet who plays Clementine in a film about two ex-lovers who want to erase each other from their own memories. But when Joel is erasing Clementine from his memory he changes his mind and tries to save anything he can of her. The movie is quite tragic, and the non-linear storytelling keeps you on your toes. But the thing which blew me away was Jim Carrey. Goofy, funny, charming Jim Carrey was the lead in this dramatic film.
In this film he destroyed this stereotype and gave a serious performance worthy of a Golden Globe nomination. Jim Carrey still takes a lot of goofy roles, but his role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind goes to show it is possible to break the mold. His performance shows any and all actors we don’t need to stay in a single type, but that there is a wide range of characters we can play.
Even when we’ve been pegged into a certain box, fret not! We can still rise above the confines of what other people think we can do in our acting. Watching this film gave me a newfound respect for Jim Carrey as an actor.
But the biggest takeaway I got from the movie is the idea of choosing roles which are challenging. Jim could’ve easily passed up the script and opted for a character similar to other characters he’s played. But he decided to take on this role and smash it out of the park. Sometimes we need to go for the roles which provide more of a challenge.
Sometimes we gotta step outside of our comfort zones and dare to risk our own reputation as actors. Let Carrey’s role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind serve as inspiration for you to go for a role you normally wouldn’t go for, and daring to take on challenging characters.