Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Count on Jim to Entertain

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Count on Jim to Entertain

Article excerpt

Jim Carrey stars in Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events, which opens in cinemas today

Just when we think we've got him pegged, rubber-featured Jim Carrey shakes up his screen image.

He's at it again with his latest wild-eyed film creation, or creations.

As the sinister Count Olaf, in Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events, the comedian takes a manic leap from his last role as the lovestruck romantic in the mind-bending Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

The actor, 42, says he doesn't want to be typecast and with this role in this $140m kids' extravaganza, he certainly couldn't be accused of that.

Based on Daniel Handler's first three Lemony Snicket books it features orphans who find out a relative plans to get rid of them and seize their fortune.

No need to guess who. Count Olaf is all electric shock hair, bad teeth and a peaked nose, looking like a demented Abraham Lincoln. While Emily Browning, Liam Aiken and twins Kara and Shelby Hoffman charm as the Baudelaire children and Meryl Streep dazzles as paranoid Aunt Josephine, it's Jim who steals the show.

"Count Olaf is not only a ham, he's the whole pig," he declares, taking plenty of comic licence with the notion of a sinister fruitcake and failed actor.

"It's an opportunity for me to show up as this crazed thespian," he adds straight-faced. Jim, of course, is best-remembered for his trademark manic creations like Ace Ventura and Andy Kaufman in Man On The Moon.

"Because I'm playing an actor I get to make fun of myself," he says.

Olaf keeps trying to disguise himself to keep the kids guessing so Jim also gets to play the count's alter egos like salty womaniser Captain Sham and nerdy boffin Stefano.

He reveals much of each character was created by improvising in front of director, Brad Silberling, during lighting setups. I love spontaneity and most of what I improvised became the dialogue of the characters. I just keep adding and thinking as the ideas keep coming to me. …

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