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Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 7:29:28 AM
by will lawrence
Although he is a fan of the first 'Kick-Ass' film, Jim Carrey, who portrays Colonel Stars And Stripes in the sequel, says that he ‘cannot support’ the violence in the film in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Jim Carrey openly disses Kick-Ass 2.
A case of biting the hand that feeds him?
KICK-ASS 2’s makers wanted an actor who was weird and wonderful – and got everything they bargained for in Jim Carrey. By all accounts, the veteran comic actor gave a kick-butt performance as a patriotic vigilante, then proceeded to kick the movie in its teeth when he refused to do promotions for it because he thought it too violent. This is bizarre since he had appeared to be a fan of the first film, which was no less violent, and was so enthusiastic during the filming of Kick-Ass 2 that he paid out of his own pocket for his character’s prosthetics.
Writer-director Jeff Wadlow says: “I wanted someone who could get the Kick-Ass humour but, at the same time, I wanted someone intense, who was a little bit odd. The character in the movie is technically insane and Jim can convey the intensity that I wanted. “If you look at him in dramatic terms, he is very impressive and he is also a comedic genius. Jim was always at the top of my list.”
The first film, the violent comic book movie that launched Chloe Grace Moretz on the road to stardom, took more than US$96mil (RM317mil) at the worldwide box office. It owed much of its success to an idiosyncratic performance from Nicolas Cage, playing the vigilante Big Daddy, who gets killed.
For the sequel, the producers wanted an actor of similar standing, another famous and grizzled veteran to play opposite the fresh-faced trio of Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Wadlow, 40, had watched an episode of an American chatshow with Conan O’Brien, in which Carrey, 51, wore the Kick-Ass superhero suit, “so, I knew he had some awareness of the character, and I put out some feelers to let them know that we might be interested. And, fortunately, it all worked out”.
Somewhat less fortunately, the actor then got cold feet once the film was done and his performance was locked. The final version of the movie, he thought, was way too violent, and he cancelled all his press duties.
“I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook, and now, in all good conscience, I cannot support that level of violence,” tweeted Carrey.
The tragedy in Sandy Hook unfolded last December when a 20-year-old man fatally shot 26 children and six staff at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The tragedy shocked a country that has suffered terribly from this kind of violence, although the filmmakers behind Kick-Ass were still surprised by Carrey’s decision to cancel his support for the film. He is a well-known advocate of gun control in the United States, and viewers will notice that, at no point does his character in the film use a loaded gun.
“We love Jim in his movies because you never know what he is going to do or say,” says Wadlow, “and I am here to tell you that, in real life, you also never know what he is going to do or say. We were all surprised by his tweets.”
“Jim is fantastic in the movie,” he continues.
“I think that everyone who sees the movie can judge for themselves as to how they feel about the depiction of violence and his performance.
“I would have loved it if he could have called me and talked about it, but he is his own man and he has got to live his own life in a way that he can feel good. So, if that is what works for him, I respect his decision.”
Carrey plays Colonel Stars And Stripes, a vigilante hero with whom Kick-Ass teams up to take down a crime lord.
Taylor-Johnson, 23, like Wadlow, respects Carrey’s decision. “He is entitled to his opinion and I respect the fact that he is open about it,” he says.
“It doesn’t really change much for me. I had the best experience working with him. This guy is a really incredible force of nature. He has this raw energy and just brings so much to the table, and so many thoughtful ideas of his own.
“He created his look from the comic book and paid for all the prosthetics to be made. That’s the guy he is – he’s just so passionate about what he does and it is inspirational. He improvises. It is amazing to work with him. He is very funny.”
Mintz-Plasse, 24, agrees, saying: “Jim is amazing, man. All the prosthetics his character wears in the movie were his idea, as were the voice and his costume.
“It is a bummer that he can’t be here to promote it, but with all the tragedies that happened recently, such as Sandy Hook and the Aurora movie theatre shooting, it is totally understandable.
“They are very recent events, involving guns and losing children. His character doesn’t use a gun – in all the violent scenes, he is using a bat and his violence is quite cartoonish. But he didn’t know that we were shooting around him, and so, when he saw the finished product, it was too violent for him.”
Despite Carrey’s protests, the film is significantly less violent than the comic book on which it is based. The comic has a rape scene, for example, which is heavily modified and played for laughs in the film.
The comic’s creator, writer Mark Millar, says that he is not too concerned about Carrey’s decision to withdraw his support.
In fact, it might have helped the film. “It was a bit of a curve-ball,” says Millar, “but what it’s done is give us a free publicity boost equal to, they estimate, around US$30 (RM99mil) million. So, maybe there’s a silver lining.” – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network
Kick-Ass 2 opens in cinemas nationwide today.
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