Jeff Daniels Says Agents Wanted Him Off ‘Dumb and Dumber’; He Feared Toilet Scene Might End His Career Until Jim Carrey Said: ‘It’s Going to Be Great … Go All the Way With It’

The Farrelly brothers’ buddy comedy “Dumb and Dumber” will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in December, and star Jeff Daniels recently looked back on how his agents were quite apprehensive about him taking on the role of Harry Dunne opposite Jim Carrey as Lloyd. While the movie would go on to become a comedy classic and earn $247 million worldwide, Daniels told USA Today that the script was not in line with the “serious actor” his agents wanted him to be at the time.

“I had agents, who weren’t wrong, telling me, ‘You’re a serious actor. This is not the direction you need to be going. We’re going to stop this and get you off this movie,'” Daniels said. “But I wanted to shake it up with a comedy. And I wanted to work with Jim Carrey.”

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Daniels admitted that he feared his agents might’ve been right when it came time to film one of the film’s most disgusting and memorable set pieces, in which Harry unknowingly drinks a laxative-spiked tea and ends up having a blowout on the toilet. The actor knew such a scene would be a make-or-break moment for his career.

“It’s one thing to read the toilet scene, but then the day comes, and we’re actually going to do the toilet scene,” Daniels said. “I told Jim [Carrey], ‘This is either the beginning of my career or the end of it.’ Jim, who is fearless, told me, ‘It’s going to be great. You’ve just got to go all the way with it.'”

“That was a couple hours of porcelain gymnastics,” Daniels added about filming the toilet scene. “And that close-up when they pop in tight on my red face. I had been doing it so long, I had almost passed out.”

Daniels said he later heard praise for the scene from none other than Clint Eastwood. The two were golfing together at a celebrity tournament when Eastwood pulled Daniels aside.

“Clint says to me, ‘I just saw Dumb and Dumber and you know, the toilet scene? That happened to me,'” Daniels said. “And then he tells a story about dating this woman that he really wanted to impress, but the shellfish hit him the wrong way from lunch.”

“I did my job, beyond my job,” Daniels concluded. “In terms of comedic scenes, that toilet scene will probably outlive us. It will be funny 40 years from now.”

Head over to USA Today’s website to read Daniels’ interview in its entirety.

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