Jim Carrey thought he had minutes to live after Hawaii missile warning blunder

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·3-min read
Jim Carrey attends the LA special screening of Paramount's "Sonic The Hedgehog" on February 12, 2020. (Photo by Rich Fury/WireImage)
Jim Carrey attends the LA special screening of Paramount's "Sonic The Hedgehog" on February 12, 2020. (Photo by Rich Fury/WireImage)

Jim Carrey thought he had been left with just 10 minutes to live when he received a warning that a ballistic missile was set to hit Hawaii.

The 58-year-old actor was on the US island in January 2018 when the state’s emergency alert system distributed a message to mobile phones stating that there was a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii”.

The message added that people should “seek immediate shelter”, promising the event was “not a drill”.

Read more: Carrey keen on a Truman Show sequel

Carrey told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that the situation felt “completely real” and that he tried to get off the island, before realising he wouldn’t be able to do that in time.

A screen shot taken by Alison Teal shows an alert text message sent to all Hawaiian citizens on January 13, 2018. (Credit: Alison Teal/AFP via Getty Images)
A screen shot taken by Alison Teal shows an alert text message sent to all Hawaiian citizens on January 13, 2018. (Credit: Alison Teal/AFP via Getty Images)

The star said the front cover of his new, semi-autobiographical novel Memoirs and Misinformation depicts his face when he learned the news.

He said he contacted loved ones and then looked out at the sea as he pondered what to do for his last few minutes.

Read more: Carrey doesn’t think Tom Cruise will like his new book

Carrey added: “I started going: ‘Okay, what can I do with this last moment of time?’.

“I just decided to go through a list of gratitudes and, honest to God, I just could not stop thinking of wonderful things that have happened to me and blessings I’ve had.

Jim Carrey in the 1997 comedy 'Liar Liar'. (Photo by Getty Images)
Jim Carrey in the 1997 comedy 'Liar Liar'. (Photo by Getty Images)

“It was lovely, and I got to a point of grace at about two minutes to spare when I found out it wasn’t actually happening.

“All I was planning to do was closing my eyes and be thankful because it’s been a good ride.”

Read more: Carrey criticised over “bucket list” interview joke

Fortunately for Carrey and the other 1.4 million residents of Hawaii, the alert was transmitted in error after a miscommunication during a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency drill.

Carrey jokingly told Fallon he “got p***ed off and heads rolled” when he found out that the threat was not real.

Jim Carrey in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG from Paramount Pictures and Sega. (Photo Credit: Doane Gregory.)
Jim Carrey in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG from Paramount Pictures and Sega. (Photo Credit: Doane Gregory)

Carrey made a return to blockbuster cinema earlier this year with the villainous role of Dr Robotnik in the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

The film earned an impressive $307m (£245m) at the worldwide box office, with critics spotlighting Carrey as one of its strongest elements.

Read more: How Sonic overcame design controversy to become a hit

Inevitably given its success, Paramount is already working on getting a sequel off the ground.

In April, director Jeff Fowler told Yahoo Movies UK: “Nothing would make me happier than getting an opportunity to tell more stories with these characters. So, fingers crossed.”