jim and andy the great beyond trailer

While tales of Jared Leto going method regularly circulate the internet to the delight and rage of fans everywhere, there are instances where actors can go overboard. Jim Carrey‘s transformative performance as renowned comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon garnered him critical acclaim and a Golden Globe award, but the process through which he gave that performance has remained behind closed doors.

“Universal didn’t want the footage we took behind-the-scenes to surface so that people wouldn’t think I was an asshole,” Carrey reveals in the trailer for Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond – With a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton. Together with director Chris Smith, Carrey examines the footage of him inhabiting the role of Kaufman for the first time, as he reflects on his identity as a comedian and actor.

Watch the Jim and Andy The Great Beyond Trailer

Produced by Spike Jonze, the Netflix documentary explores the depth of Carrey’s transformation to Kaufman, a comedian he greatly admired and, to some degree, emulated. When he was cast as Kaufman in the biopic, Carrey took that emulation to the next level, embodying Kaufman on and off the camera — oftentimes to the chagrin of his costars and director.

Kaufman was notoriously an eccentric provocateur, and Carrey’s behind-the-scenes antics on Man on the Moon threatened to derail the production. But the documentary examines not into the faux-pas of filmmaking, but the artistic process itself and Carrey’s newfound philosophy as an actor who has spent many of the past years out of the spotlight. In Marshall Shaffer’s Toronto International Film Festival review of Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, he calls it “a treasure trove of comedic brilliance and revelatory insights into the process of a performer whose comedy is something like a ‘fugue state,’ as [Carrey] puts it.”

Meanwhile, Kaufman himself remains somewhat of a mystery, forever a contrarian who will be analyzed through biopics like Man on the Moon or documentaries like this one and the the 1989 comedy doc I’m from Hollywood, about the comedian’s short stint in the pro-wrestling world.

Here is Netflix’s official synopsis for Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond:

Director Chris Smith’s fascinating deep dive into actor Jim Carrey’s time spent portraying famed and complicated comedian Andy Kaufman. Using approximately 100 hours of footage shot on the set of Man on the Moon documenting Carrey’s transformation into Kaufman for four months.

Jim Carrey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for the performance, but many of the production’s most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, thankfully captured on video by Andy’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda. In Jim & Andy, Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes, his experience channelling Andy and Tony and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career.

Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond will premiere on Netflix on November 18, 2017.

 

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