Sonic 2 Star Jim Carrey On Whether He Prefers Playing Dumb Or Smart Characters

Since 1994, the year he broke big as a movie star with "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "The Mask," and "Dumb and Dumber," Jim Carrey has played both buffoons and evil geniuses. People may debate who is dumb and who is really dumber, Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) or Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels), but the fact of the matter is, neither one of those characters is the brightest bulb in the box. Yet Carrey followed up "Dumber and Dumber" with his role as Edward Nygma, aka The Riddler, in "Batman Forever." Nygma is so smart that he invented a device that can beam TV signals straight into one's brain.

The question is, which kind of character does Carrey prefer playing: Smart or dumb? The actor and comedian's latest film, "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," hits theaters today, and it sees Carrey reprising his role as Dr. Robotnik, another mad scientist in the Riddler vein. In an interview with Looper while promoting the film, Carrey discussed how playing characters of varying intelligence levels has related back to his own life offscreen. He said:

"I think smart and completely dumb are essential parts of my character in life. [...] And they assert themselves individually from time to time. I think sometimes you do things in your life and you think, 'Well, maybe I'm a pretty smart animal.' And then there are other times you just go, 'No, I haven't learned a thing.' [Laughs] So it's just a great thing to be able to play the spectrum, and to be thought of that way is wonderful. Obviously, I had to dumb it down a little bit to play a guy with a 300 IQ, but ... No, this character's so much fun, and he's the contrast to Sonic."

'Sonic is that preteen innocence and lack of skepticism'

Carrey also highlighted the youthful, innocent nature of Sonic, and how that might reawaken something in older and wiser, perhaps slightly more skeptical parents who are bringing their kids to see "Sonic the Hedgehog 2." He continued:

"The important thing about this movie is that Sonic is that preteen innocence and lack of skepticism, that just enjoys everything that's happening in the zeitgeist going past. He goes, 'Oh, I want to play with that. And I want to play with that.' He's not afraid of a damn thing. And through this movie, families, parents get to look and remind themselves of what it was like to be that way. And the kids, they get to see this wonderful innocent energy winning against this scary monster. And I hope they get laughs. I'm in the movie to give parents something to do as well as make the kids laugh. So I try to have my stuff mean more than one thing every once in a while. [Laughs]"

The final trailer for "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" featured Dr. Robotnik showing off some green superpowers, and it's not the only time we've seen Carrey in that mode. At the end of "Batman Forever," the Riddler touts his god-level intelligence, saying, "For if knowledge is power, then a god am I." Morgan Freeman's God would also hand over his powers to Carrey's protagonist in "Bruce Almighty," and prior to that, Carrey played a comic genius who fooled the world in "Man on the Moon." So although many of his best-known characters are slapstick idiots, he also knows his way around the headspace of a mastermind or two.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is in theaters now.