Jim Carrey has opened up about his “a semi-autobiographical novel” novel Memoirs and Misinformation, which fuses Carrey’s real-life experiences in Hollywood with a fictional story of the apocalypse.
Written with Dana Vachon, the story follows a jaded actor who is becoming more and more disconnected to the real world thanks to his privilege and wealth. Normally taking on shallow roles for the money, the character then accepts a more complex role which leads to a personal epiphany.
“None of this is real and all of it is true,” the book’s description reads on Amazon, while Carrey added on the main character: “Jim Carrey in this book is really a representative — he’s an avatar of anybody in my position. Of the artist, of the celebrity, of the star.
“That world and all its excesses and gluttony and self-focus and vanity. Some of it is very actual. You just won’t know which is which. But even the fictional qualities of the book reveal a truth.”
Along the way, the Carrey-esque character meets fictionalised versions of stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicolas Cage, and Anthony Hopkins, with Carrey saying he personally sent each actor a letter of explanation explaining their inclusion in the novel. All responded positively, particularly Nicolas Cage.
“It’s satire and parody but also done with reverence,” Carrey explained to IndieWire. “Most of the people in this book are people whom I admire greatly. I was talking to Nic Cage a couple days ago. I hadn’t told him anything about the book and then one day I sprung it on him, and he just said, ‘Jim, I’m so honoured, man. You have no idea’. I said, ‘I gave you all the best lines’. ‘It’s unheard of!’ He’s so excited about it.”
Cage apparently pays the role of a dinosaur skull collector who is also fictional Carrey’s best friend in the novel.
In a new interview with The New York Times, Carrey added that there’s one star who may not be as chuffed with their appearance in the novel – fellow actor Tom Cruise (though, the novel refers to the character as “Laser Jack Lightning” for legal purposes).
“That’s just us poking fun at the litigiousness of Hollywood,” Carrey explained. “I know Tom Cruise. He may sock me, but hey, I’ll take the beating for a piece of art. I think he’s going to love it.”
As to why the Truman Show star opted for a mix of reality and fiction over a straight autobiography, Carrey was frank.
“There’s nothing, at this point in my artistic life, more boring than the idea of writing down the actual events of my life in some chronological order. Trying to expand my brand. This is not that. It’s a labour of love that we couldn’t stop.
It started out as a little volley back and forth, here and there, and in the last few years it was eight hours, 12 hours most days, just grinding together in a room. But even when we butted heads, we always came up with something more interesting than we had initially conceived,” he continued.
Memoirs and Misinformation is out on July 7, with the audiobook version of the novel featuring the voice of Carrey’s Dumb and Dumber co-star Jeff Daniels.