18 years after director Miloš Forman’s ‘Man on the Moon’ first hit screens, Netflix’s new documentary ‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’ will explore the bizarre, chaotic goings-on behind the scenes on the biopic of comedy legend Andy Kaufman.
Jim Carrey was the biggest comedy star in the world in the 1990s, off the back of hits including ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,’ ‘The Mask’ and ‘Liar Liar,’ but by the end of the decade he was starting to gravitate toward more serious work.
After winning a Golden Globe for 1998’s ‘The Truman Show,’ Carrey was cast as his personal hero: the late comedian Andy Kaufman, noted for his anarchic and confrontational approach to humour (although in Britain he was best known for his supporting role on sitcom ‘Taxi’).
As Carrey (whose own eccentric behaviour has drawn widespread comment of late) remarks in the above trailer, “when I heard I’d got the part, I was looking at the ocean – and that’s the moment Andy came back to make his movie.”
Carrey notes that Kaufman’s approach was to “turn reality on its head, and not stop when the camera stops” – and it seems the actor very much took this philosophy to heart in production on ‘Man on the Moon,’ going ultra-method and essentially ‘becoming’ Andy Kaufman.
It paid off inasmuch as it landed Carrey his second Golden Globe award, but it seems it made things rather difficult for those who had to work with him; so much so that the behind the scenes footage used in ‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’ has been kept under wraps since the film was made due to studio fears that Carrey’s reputation would suffer.
Directed by Chris Smith, ‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’ utilises never before seen videos shot by Kaufman’s girlfriend Lynne Margulies (portrayed by Courtney Love in the movie) and his writing partner Bob Zmuda (portrayed by Paul Giamatti). A reported 100 hours of footage had been shot, covering the four month shoot of ‘Man on the Moon.’
As well as detailing Carrey’s work on ‘Man on the Moon,’ ‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’ will also show the comedy star broadly reflecting on “the spiritual journey of his career.”
See ‘Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond’ on Netflix from 17 November.