Jim Carrey Reveals Tension with Tommy Lee Jones on ‘Batman Forever’

By October 30, 2014

In June of 1995, Batman Forever was released in theaters, and chronicled the combined efforts of villains Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey) to exact their revenge on both Bruce Wayne and Batman (Val Kilmer). At the time of its release, it was certainly the most bizarre Batman film ever released, trading Tim Burton’s inky blacks for Joel Schumacher’s bright neons, but it proved to be very successful, becoming the number 2 film of 1995 behind Toy Story, and it helped to (temporarily) revive the franchise after the depressing reception to Batman Returns. We now know, though, that the union between Riddler and Two-Face was a strictly on-screen affair, since the two men who embodied the characters in that film didn’t seem to get along.

Jim Carrey made a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show to promote the impending release of Dumb and Dumber To, and was asked by the infamous shock jock about rumors of a less-than-cordial behind the scenes relationship between he and Tommy Lee Jones. Carrey didn’t deny Stern’s claims at all, and elaborated on where he perceived the disconnect to be:

I think what happened was, I was really looking forward to working with Tommy because he’s a fantastic actor and he still is to me, I mean he’s amazing, but he was a little crusty, he was a little crusty. Sometimes that Rhodes Scholarship is more of a weapon than an asset. I think he was just a little freaked out because Dumb and Dumber came out on the same weekend as Cobb, and Cobb was his big swing for the fences and that didn’t work out and that freaked him out a bit I think.

Carrey is referring there to Jones’ biopic about famed baseball player Ty Cobb that was released to mixed reviews and a less-than-stellar run at the box office up against Dumb and Dumber in 1994. Perhaps the more surprising encounter, though, occurred during the production of Batman Forever, but off the set. Carrey recounted it to Stern:

I walked into a restaurant the night before our big scene in the Riddler’s lair and the maitre’d said, ‘You’re working with Tommy Lee Jones, aren’t you?’ And I said ‘Yeah, I am.’ He said, ‘He’s in the back corner, he’s having dinner.’ I said, ‘Oh, great, I’ll go say hi. I went up to say hi and the blood drained from his face, in such a way that I realized that I had become the face of his pain or something. He got up, kind of shaking, and hugged me and said ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you. I was like ‘Wow, okay. Well, what’s going on man?’ And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.’ He did not want to work with me at that point.”

Too bad that the team of villains couldn’t be as friendly with each other as they were on-screen, but it’s not too surprising that at least one side of two very different personalities had clashed in some form. No word on whether or not they’ve since reconciled since Batman Forever was nearly 20 years ago, but Carrey likely would’ve mentioned if the fences had been mended.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.