Inside Jim Carrey’s bizarre life
After years of personal battles, Jim Carrey is making his big screen comeback - with a role that showcases his classic inner goofball.
The zany Canadian, once the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, has not starred in a major movie for six years.
In that time he became a recluse as he struggled with depression and the suicide of his ex-girlfriend - and doing slapstick was far from his thoughts.
But now he is back playing it for laughs as power-crazed baddie Dr Ivo Robotnik in film Sonic The Hedgehog.
The 58-year-old star of hit movies including Ace Ventura, The Mask and Dumb And Dumber insists silly was always in his soul.
"My family was famous in our local area. If you came to our house you left losing your mind with laughter because my father just tore you to pieces," he said.
"And then there was my mother, who was on the other side of the coin. She had a lot of pain, she was a child of alcoholics. I wanted to make her feel better."
His family fell on hard times when dad Percy, an accountant, lost his job and they ended up sleeping in a VW camper van.
Carrey quit school at 16 to work in a factory, before heading to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue his dream of working as a stand-up comic.
Fifteen years later he scored his first movie hit with 1994's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which grossed more than $US 100 million.
In the same year, The Mask and Dumb And Dumber made even bigger sums, turning Carrey into an international star.
More hits, two Golden Globes and million-dollar pay cheques followed. And perhaps, understandably, his ego got out of control.
Clicking his fingers, he said: "I thought, 'I can go anywhere and I can be accepted and I can do this and I'll have all the answers.
"I'll be unbeatable, until I'm so incredibly great people will not be able to deny it.'" Laughing, he added: "It's mega-maniacal.
"You quickly find out that you're going to be a human. You're going to be a withered-up, little, terrified thing at times in your life."
One of the reasons Carrey took time away was the death of his ex, Cathriona White, 30, by suicide from a prescription drug overdose in 2015. They had only split up a week earlier.
Cathriona's mum launched a lawsuit against Carrey, alleging he had supplied the fatal substances. But, in 2018, the actor was cleared of any involvement.
The twice-divorced actor has had a string of famous girlfriends, including actress Renée Zellweger and model Jenny McCarthy.
For a few months last year, he dated Ginger Gonzaga, his co-star from US TV series Kidding.
His relationship with the public has also been strained at times, notably when taking on serious roles in 1998's The Truman Show and 2004's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
Carrey said: "They would just as soon you stay put, like a mannequin in a store window, once they figure out what you are.
"They went, 'We need silly man.' But then I went, 'But I'm also really serious man.' And they went, 'I don't know, not serious man, I didn't come here for that.'"
No one did serious, quite like Carrey. When he played his comic hero Andy Kaufman - who died aged just 35 from cancer - in 1999 biopic Man On The Moon, Carrey stayed in character for the entirety of the shoot.
He even wore a paper bag over his head when not in full make-up so the crew would never see him as Jim.
In another bizarre act, he once told a university ceremony: "I cannot be contained because I am the container."
Of his unorthodox ideas, he said: "I really have trouble explaining where I'm at because I don't want to come off like I think I'm some kind of guru or something like that, because I'm a teacher and a student and that's the way it's always going to be."
Carrey now lives alone in California, where he paints and draws political sketches. A novel and autobiography are also in the pipeline.
"There's been a kind of explosion of creativity in my life," he said. "I don't have any limitations at all - except the laws of the land. Or the laws of physics."
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission