Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls: Production Notes

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The last two years have been extraordinary ones for Jim Carrey. Already known for his comic energy and the spectrum of outrageous characters he created in the Emmy Award-winning comedy series "In Living Color," Carrey acknowledges that it was his starring role in the original "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" that catapulted him to film stardom.

Carrey now returns to the role of Ace following standout performances in three additional hit motion pictures: "The Mask," "Dumb and Dumber" and "Batman Forever." Yet, of all the characters Carrey has now inhabited, from grinning pyromaniac Fire Marshall Bill and female gladiator Vera de Milo on "In Living Color" through the bumbling bank clerk and crazed avenger who danced the rhumba in "The Mask," to the lovestruck limo driver in "Dumb and Dumber" and the maniacally brilliant Riddler in "Batman Forever", the character closest to Carrey's heart and funnybone is Ace Ventura.

So when producer James G. Robinson, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, approached Carrey about a sequel, Carrey was glad to don the signature Hawaiian shirts and upswept hairstyle and once again breathe life into Ace.

"I love that guy, I love the character," says Carrey, "and I love the 'do. Ace embodies absolute enjoyment of life. He has no respect for authority; basically, he's like a child. He always seems to be playing and having such a good time at whatever he does." "Ace is totally irreverent," adds writer/director Steve Oedekerk, "and that's why kids love him so much. Ace respects no one. He's a completely good guy, but he has absolutely no respect for normal conventions."

But, according to Oedekerk, that's just part of his appeal to audiences. "Although all of Jim's characters are hilarious, Ace Ventura is the embodiment of comedy; it's all the guy is about. He is a pure and total comedy force. Everything he does is funny. If he's going to sip coffee, he's going to sip the coffee funny. If he's walking through the door, he's going to walk through the door funny. With Ace you get the most comedy you can get on screen in a movie. "And that's Jim's appeal as well, he's just blatantly funny. Comedy exudes from him, as opposed to coming from the moment or the on-screen relationship."

Oedekerk, who has known Carrey since their days as stand-up comics, wrote sketches with him as a staff writer for "In Living Color" and was a consultant on "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." Subsequently, Oedekerk became a sought-after comedy screenwriter and was ready to make his directing debut, so when it came time for an "Ace" sequel, Oedekerk was immediately enlisted as the writer and, thereafter, as the director as well.

But both Carrey and Oedekerk had very specific ideas about the sequel. As Oedekerk says, "We thought 'why even do it, if we're not trying to do something staggeringly bigger and better and funnier? ' That was the goal, first with the script, then with the movie."

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