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​Jim Carrey Was Once So Broke He Lived In A Van

Jess Hardiman

Published 

​Jim Carrey Was Once So Broke He Lived In A Van

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jim Carrey may be one of the biggest names in Hollywood these days, but he wasn't always raking in the big bucks.

When he was younger, he and his family actually ended up living in a van amid financial struggles - an experience that the actor says 'sounds sad', but actually marked a much 'happier' time.

When the Toronto-born star was 12, his dad Percy lost his job - at which point the young Carrey fell in with delinquents.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, he explained: "My father was hurting, so I blamed the world.

"It doesn't occur to you when you're a kid, 'Hey, maybe my dad was a drag at work. Maybe he hated his job so much that he was just an emotional skunk.'"

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

His dad later found work at a tyre factory, and Carrey and his brothers joined him - doing eight-hour shifts after school as security guards and janitors.

Eventually, the family quit the factory and took off in a VW van, and he and his brother sometimes camped in a tent.

"I know it sounds sad," Carrey continued.

"We lived in campgrounds or we lived on my sister's lawn way out in the country and, sure, it got cold in the tent, but in a weird way it was a much happier time."

Comedy proved to be Carrey's route out, after he got his first big break opening for Rodney Dangerfield at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas - which helped him make a name for him in the States.

Carrey said he had planned 'not to join Hollywood' and wanted to 'take a gigantic sledgehammer to the leading man and to all seriousness'.

Carrey in 1984. Credit: PA
Carrey in 1984. Credit: PA

Then, of course, Ace Ventura came along and thrust him into the limelight, which prompted some ribbing from his In Living Color co-stars.

Carrey continued: "David Alan Grier would go out in the audience and say, 'Jim, in his hiatus, is gonna be doing a movie called Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Let's wish him luck with that.'

"And everybody would scoff at me - they'd fake applaud and laugh at me."

But by the time he made The Cable Guy, according to THR, he was the highest paid movie star around.

Recalling his sudden fame, Carrey added: "There's a weightlessness to it.

"You can dream about it all you want, but until you get it, you don't realise that it's really not a place that's very comfortable for very long."

Jim Carrey is currently filming Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Topics: Entertainment, Celebrity, jim carrey

Jess Hardiman
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