The 2000 adaptation of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” stands as a cherished holiday film, lauded particularly for Rick Baker’s remarkable makeup effects. However, behind the whimsical charm lies a tale of discomfort and endurance, especially for the film’s star, Jim Carrey.
In an interview with Empire Magazine, director Ron Howard and Jim Carrey discussed the challenges faced during the movie’s production. Carrey, tasked with embodying the Grinch, endured a grueling process, starting his days at 6:30 am, spending four hours in the makeup chair, and then donning a hefty 10-pound bodysuit before filming a single scene. The makeup, especially the contact lenses and latex, proved agonizing for Carrey, causing significant discomfort and interfering with shooting schedules.
Howard recounted the struggle Carrey faced with the contacts, stating that there were moments when an optometrist was constantly on standby to assist Carrey due to frequent eye irritation. There were genuine concerns that Carrey might not be able to complete the film due to the physical toll it was taking on him.
To cope with the challenges, Carrey underwent an unconventional solution: training with a Navy SEAL. This rigorous training, typically designed for paramilitaries to endure intense discomfort, taught Carrey pain-deferment techniques that helped him manage the discomfort caused by the makeup. Carrey shared that initially, the first few weeks were tough, but he eventually transcended the discomfort by employing pain-deferring methods, acknowledging the incredible adaptability of humans in challenging situations.
In a bid to boost morale among the cast and crew, director Ron Howard even stepped into the Grinch’s shoes for a day, surprising everyone by donning the Grinch makeup in the early hours without prior notice. This impromptu act lightened the mood on set and earned a hearty laugh from the crew, illustrating Howard’s willingness to empathize and endure the challenges faced by his team.
Despite the hardships, the movie became a box office success, grossing $345 million and carving out a special place in the hearts of viewers as a nostalgic holiday favorite. For those seeking a different holiday vibe, exploring the realm of Christmas horror movies might offer a refreshing and alternative festive experience.