The original casting for the Farrelly BrothersThe Three Stooges film seemed like it was too crazy to be true, and sure enough, it was. The line-up that once included Sean Penn as Larry, Benicio Del Toro as Moe, and Jim Carrey as Curly quickly fell apart, leaving only Benicio Del Toro remaining from the trio. We know Penn’s reasoning for departing from the project was, according to him, based on a desire to concentrate on his family, but what of Jim Carrey? Why did he drop out?

Find out his answer after the break.

Carrey recently spoke with MTV, and they asked him where he stands on the film. His response was at first speculative, and then definitive: “I think it’s dead. It’s dead at least with me.”

Last we heard about the film, the Farrelly brothers had signed Paul Giamatti to take over the role of Larry, but so far there’s been no word of a replacement for Curly, the character Carrey was set to play. The presumption was that the Farrellys would simply find another actor, but Carrey seems to think the movie isn’t happening. Does he know something we don’t?

In either case, it was interesting to learn why he decided to leave the project. It wasn’t over creative differences, or a lack of enthusiasm, or even an impulse that he wasn’t right to take over such an iconic role. No, in actuality, it was a weight issue.

For me, I don’t really want to do anything halfway, and I don’t feel like a fat suit does it. I started experimenting with it a little bit, and I gained 35, 40 pounds. I wanted to gain another 30, 40. When you’re [Robert] De Niro in your 20s or early 30s, you can kind of come back from that. It’s a tough thing to come back from when you’re upwards of 30. Your body can’t carry it or you can have a cardiac arrest.

Putting aside for a moment how you may feel about a Farrelly brothers directed Three Stooges movie starring Jim Carrey—which is a pretty disconcerting idea any way you look at it—it’s a little sad to find out that the actor turned down a part because he felt he wasn’t fat enough. Is that really the most important thing about the character? Carrey had already gained a significant amount of weight for the role; was that really not sufficient? If Carrey had brought his all to the character, would it have mattered that he wasn’t quite as bulky as Curly Howard?

Having said that, I admire Carrey for refusing to wear a fatsuit. Though they can occasionally facilitate an amusing gag, like Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, in general they tend to be too garish and unwieldy and kind of grossly off-putting to put up with for an entire film. I can easily imagine a future for The Three Stooges where Carrey adopts a fatsuit, and it’s not pretty. That’s not to say it’s impossible for fatsuits to be implemented subtly and effectively; Nicolas Cage wore a fatsuit in Adaptation, and that worked out entirely to the film’s benefit. There’s also been discussions of new technology that could negate the need for actors to gain or lose weight entirely, but then I suppose the issue comes down to how well the actors can believably invest themselves in a role when they don’t even look the part.

As usual, Jim Carrey was quick to joke about the issue, making light of his health concerns by poking fun at the film’s need for extensive physical comedy.

Put that with Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro slapping me in the head all day long, and someone will lose an eye. It won’t be good. It’ll be like Midnight Express. It’ll be awful.

I’m inclined to believe Carrey that the results could’ve been disastrous, but it at least might’ve been fascinatingly so. What do you guys think? Would you have been interested in seeing Carrey’s take on Curly, or was he right to pass on the role? And in either respect, how do you feel about his reasons for dropping the film?

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