It’s been 14 years since “Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind” helped change the world’s perception of Jim Carrey from a blockbuster movie star to a bonafide awards contender, and now he’s reuniting with the director who helped guide his performance to new heights. “Kidding,” the new Showtime drama from Carrey and Michel Gondry, is set to debut in September, and the team stopped by the Television Critics Association summer press tour to discuss their revived collaboration.
“He was the linchpin,” Carrey said. “I was incredibly interested in the material, but when Michel came on board I was like, ‘I get to play with a teammate.’ It was a thrill.”
The two haven’t worked together since 2004, and Gondry noticed how their on-set dynamic shifted between the two projects.
“It was different than ‘Eternal Sunshine’ because [then] it took Jim several weeks of work or maybe a month before he trusted me,” Gondry said. “When we started working on ‘Kidding,’ it was very simple. […] He would try anything. You cannot imagine what [he does].”
“You learn to trust somebody,” Carrey said. “You see what happened before and [that builds trust.] There were many times on ‘Eternal Sunshine’ where I said [to Gondry], ‘It doesn’t make any sense at all to me,’ and he said, ‘Why don’t you try it?’”
Carrey did and believes the results speak for themselves. Gondry added that his experience working with Carrey proved “Jim has zero ego,” and said working with this actor in their new series made it “really fun” and “challenging” […] “in a good way.”
Gondry directed select episodes of the first season of “Kidding” and is attached as an executive producer throughout, along with Carrey. The series was created by Dave Holstein and co-stars Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, and Frank Langella.
“Kidding” centers on Carrey’s Jeff, an icon of children’s television known as Mr. Pickles and a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds. And yet when this beloved family man’s own family begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairytale, fable, or puppet will guide him through this crisis, which advances faster than his means to cope. The result: A kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
“Kidding” premieres September 9 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.