Jim Carrey is one of the world’s most well-known comedic actors, and it just so happens that he’s also one of America’s highest-grossing actors too, with his top five movies generating $1 billion, according to Worthly. It’s unsurprising that Carrey is very well known in Hollywood too, but how did he become so popular? It all started with his first movie.
Jim Carrey made his first on-screen appearance back in 1984, starring as Lane Bidlekoff in comedy film Finders Keepers, directed by Richard Lester. It wasn’t until ten years later, in 1994, that Carrey gradually picked up momentum in the industry, snatching a lead role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
Let’s look at how Carrey became such an affluent star in Hollywood, starting at the beginning.
From Homelessness to Prosperity
“Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.”
Jim Carrey (born January 17, 1962) grew up in Newmarket, Canada. Newmarket has been ranked the best place to live in the York Region by MoneySense, though Carrey’s family didn’t have the best experience living there.
By the time Carrey was 12, his father had lost his job resulting in a limited flow of money to the family of six. Shortly afterward, Carrey’s family became homeless and were experiencing poverty.
So how did Carrey go from such a poor socio-economic background to an economically prosperous one?
Contrary to the popular belief that the US is the land of opportunities, according to a White House Report, the US has lower economic mobility when compared to other developed countries meaning people often stay in the same socio-economic group throughout their life.
Although, it’s worth noting that for Canadians, it’s different. According to a 2012 study, 87% of Canadians in the study, who were initially in the bottom income group moved to a higher group across a 19 year period (between 1990 and 2009).
For Carrey, it’s more complicated. He holds dual citizenship as a Canadian-American citizen, though he’s lived in the US for a good chunk of his life, he lived in Canada for his first 19 years.
You wouldn’t expect someone who comes from such a poor socio-economic background to rise so far up the ladder, but Carrey has defied all odds and statistics by becoming the victorious actor he is today!
Let’s take a look at some of his most successful films.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
This is a festive film based on the book with the same name, produced by Disney. Carrey stars as Scrooge and the three ghosts that haunt him in the film. After its release, it grossed $325.2 million.
Batman Forever (1995)
In the third installment of the Batman series, Carrey stars as the villainous Riddler, one of the main antagonists in the film. The film was met with criticism, but it was a box office hit nonetheless, grossing at $336.5 million.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
In another festive film, based on the book with the same name, Carrey plays the lead character of the Grinch. Initially, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas received mixed reviews, but it’s still a huge commercial success with the film grossing at $345.1 million.
Bruce Almighty (2003)
This is Carrey’s highest-grossing movie of all time, again with Carrey starring as the lead character of Bruce Nolan. Upon its release, Bruce Almighty grossed a whopping $484.5 million.
The Mask (1994)
The Mask is a film that’s based on the series of comic books originally published by Dark Horse Comics, and it sits within the fantasy genre. It follows the story of Stanley Ipkiss’ (whom Carrey plays) life as a superhero after he transforms his life by trying on one simple mask.
The Mask was a box office success, grossing at $351.5 million.