Actor Jim Carrey’s on set behavior has been well documented over the years, but makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji recently shed some light on making Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas with the actor in 2000. Tsuji revealed that Carrey’s horrible behavior led him into therapy. The Grinch was not an easy project for Jim Carrey. The actor was suited in a hot, green costume along with a ton of makeup that took hours to apply every day. To make matters worse, Carrey had to wear giant contact lenses that kept getting the fake snow trapped in them, so one can understand a little bit of irritability from Carrey.
The frustrations from the set of the Grinch turned into hostility to the rest of the cast and the crew. Kazuhiro Tsuji took the brunt of the abuse since he had to apply makeup to Carrey every day. Tsuji says that the actor was “mean to everybody” and went into some more detail about what it was like to work with the Dumb and Dumber star, revealing that he would just take off for a few days without warning. He had this to say.
“Once we were on set, he was really mean to everybody and at the beginning of the production they couldn’t finish. After two weeks we only could finish three days’ worth of shooting schedule, because suddenly he would just disappear and when he came back, everything was ripped apart. We couldn’t shoot anything.”
Kazuhiro Tsuji says that working with Jim Carrey was mentally exhausting and admits to wanting to quit some of the days. Tsuji recalls a behavior that Carrey would repeat daily in which he would yell at the makeup artist to fix something with the facial makeup that was already correct. While the detail doesn’t sound that bad, it would definitely add up for it to happen every day. He explains.
“In the makeup trailer he just suddenly stands up and looks in the mirror, and pointing on his chin, he goes, This color is different from what you did yesterday. I was using the same color I used yesterday. He says, Fix it. And okay, you know, I fixed it. Every day was like that.”
Mentally exhausted and ready to quit, Kazuhiro Tsuji says that he spoke with a producer about quitting. Instead they hatched a plan for Tsuji to disappear for a week and not return any of Jim Carrey’s phone calls. The makeup artist hid for a week and did not return any phone calls until director Ron Howard called and begged him to come back, swearing that Carrey had changed. Tsuji reluctantly went back on the condition that they helped him get his green card. However, memories of the abuse still lingered and Kazuhiro Tsuji ended up in therapy over the matter and later retired from the industry all together after a few more movies.
Kazuhiro Tsuji ended up working on Tim Burton’s remake of Planet Of The Apes and later with Rian Johnson on Looper, where he took on the incredible task of making Joseph Gordon-Levitt look like Bruce Willis, which was not an easy feat. Tsuji ended up retiring in 2011, but was convinced to come back by Gary Oldman to work on Darkest Hour and earned an Academy Award nomination in the process. Working with Jim Carrey in 2000 certainly does not sound like a good time at all. You can check out the rest of the interview with Kazuhiro Tsuji over at Vulture.