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CARREY. Welcomes opportunity to play a lovable character like Horton.




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Only in Hollywood
Jim Carrey returns to Dr. Seuss’ territory–as an elephant

By Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:53:00 03/07/2008

Filed Under: Entertainment (general), Celebrities

LOS ANGELES, California?While Jim Carrey is not a laugh-a-second interviewee like Robin Williams, he can be pretty funny, too.

You never know where your question to the star of ?Horton Hears a Who!? would lead. Like, when he misheard a question about champagne because of a reporter?s accent, he asked, ?Do I like to have romantic moments with Sean Penn?? And, he ran away with it: ?Now, let?s not put that out there, please. I mean, I don?t mind, but Sean may take exception to it!?

When he was asked where he would be now if he said yes to all the things that came his way, Jim quickly replied: ?Jail.? He laughingly added, ?Then, I?d be very popular with the tabloids and be on the cover of ?In Touch.??

Since Carrey does the voice of an elephant, the title character in ?Horton,? the actor was asked which animal he identified with. ?A wolf,? he quipped.

Then, he brought up a surprising correlation between his ?Ace Ventura: Pet Detective? character and?Hannibal Lecter: ?I don?t know what animal I would be, but I model some of my roles on animals that suit those characters. When I did ?Ace Ventura,? I had dinner with Hannibal Lecter one night.

?Actually, I had dinner with Anthony Hopkins, and we started talking about acting approaches. I said, when I did ?Ace,? I chose a smart bird. That?s why people thought it was so weird. I walked like a bird, ate sunflower seeds, and talked like a parrot!

Moment to strike

?Anthony said, ?That?s exactly what I did with Hannibal. I was a tarantula, mixed with an alligator or a reptile!? I sat quietly, waiting for my moment to strike. He started explaining it?and he suddenly became Hannibal! We were having dinner, and I said, ?Okay, what are we having?? It was quite interesting?two completely different performances using the same approach. It was weird!?

In the animated film, ?Horton Hears a Who??his second outing as a Dr. Seuss character (he played the title role in the live-action feature, ?How the Grinch Stole Christmas?)?the comedian enjoyed playing a lovable creature this time around.

Legacy

?The wonderful thing about Horton is that he?s the opposite of the Grinch,? he explained. ?I feel lucky to be involved in the Seuss legacy. It?s great that they came to me again with a totally different character, and they thought I could handle it.

?I love Horton because he?s such an innocent. He?s pure, and he loves the world?and everything in his path! He creates his own fun in his imagination.? He continued (to laughter from the reporters): ?Those types of people always scare someone?they don?t lose their innocence!?

Jim admitted, ?I initially thought, ?How do I play an elephant?? You think they?d cast somebody a little huskier. But, it?s perfect because Horton doesn?t see himself as bigger than anybody else?he?s on an even keel with Morton the Mouse, and I love that about him!?

Also lending their voices to the screen adaptation of the beloved 1954 book by Dr. Seuss?which is actually the pen name of the late Theodore ?Ted? Geisel?are Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Dane Cook and Seth Rogen.

Relationship

Off-screen, Jim is enjoying his relationship with his girlfriend, actress and former Playboy pin-up, Jenny McCarthy. ?The great thing about Jenny?and about our life together?is that, we really try to encourage each other to be the best person we can be,? he shared. ?Spiritually and creatively, we?re both into the same things. We like hanging out with each other.?

Jenny has praised Jim for his love for her 5-year-old son, Evan, who is autistic?another side of the actor that isn?t well-known. The actress, who was honored by the Chicago Sun-Times for her efforts toward understanding autism (she also authored the New York Times bestseller, ?Louder Than Words: A Mother?s Journey in Healing Autism?), has called Carrey ?the autism whisperer,? because Jim has developed close rapport with Evan.

?Evan is an amazing, joyful little soul who is a blessing beyond belief,? Jim said of Jenny?s son from a previous marriage. ?He?s taught me a lot! You really have to be there to reach a person struggling with autism. It?s been a great experience!?

Special needs

He disclosed: ?Jenny once talked about how hard it was to have a relationship when you have a child with special needs. But, as far as I?m concerned, I don?t think we?d ever be together if it weren?t for Evan! He gave her another level of depth that she never had. That was what I was attracted to!?

For people who want Jim to be Grinch-like again, he?s playing Scrooge in another film version of Charles Dickens? ?A Christmas Carol.? But, this one promises to be different: The 2009 release will see director Robert Zemeckis further refining the advances he?s made with motion-capture technology in ?The Polar Express? and ?Beowulf.?

E-mail rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com, and read his blog, ?The Nepales Report,? on http://blogs.inquirer.net/ nepalesreport.



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