Jim Carrey is ready to unleash a warped version of Hollywood in his upcoming new book “Memoirs and Misinformation,” co-written with “Mergers and Acquisitions” author Dana Vachon. The actor previewed the book in a new interview with The New York Times ahead of its July publication, revealing the writers spent the last eight years working on the project. “Memoirs and Misinformation” tells the story of a fictionalized Jim Carrey searching for meaning in Hollywood years after acting success.
The book is billed as “a semi-autobiographical novel,” and creating a parallel Hollywood was the only way Carrey was interested in tackling memoir territory.
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“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,” Carrey said. “Trying to expand my brand. This is not that. … 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.”
Readers meet “Jim Carrey” in the book as a lonely actor drowning in wealth and privilege. According to The Times, Carrey is at a point in his career where he’s “choosing among starring roles in a Mao Zedong biopic and studio movies based on children’s toys.” Carrey gets a second chance at Hollywood success after meeting a young ingénue named Georgie and teaming with the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman on a “boundary-pushing new picture.” In real life, Carrey teamed with Kaufman for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
The Hollywood of “Memoirs and Misinformation” is populated by fictionalized versions of real stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicolas Cage, and Anthony Hopkins, among others. Carrey told The Times he is sending every actor featured in the book a “letter of explanation” to make it clear what he’s trying to do in the novel. “It’s satire and parody but also done with reverence,” Carrey said. “Most of the people in this book are people whom I admire greatly.”
The book’s version of Nicolas Cage, for instance, is a dinosaur skull collector who is also fictional Carrey’s best friend. The real Carrey said the real Cage knows about the book and shared nothing but encouragement about the project.
“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 honored, man. You have no idea,'” Carrey said. “I said, I gave you all the best lines. ‘It’s unheard of!’ He’s so excited about it.”
Another character is a riff on Tom Cruise, but in the book he’s only referred to as “Laser Jack Lighting” because of legal purposes. Carrey told The Times it’s all in good fun, although he’s not 100 percent sure Cruise will end up loving it. “That’s just us poking fun at the litigiousness of Hollywood,” Carrey said. “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.”
“Memoirs and Misinformation” will be available for purchase on July 7. An audiobook version of the novel will feature the voice of Carrey’s “Dumb and Dumber” co-star Jeff Daniels.
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