Jim Carrey: Carrey'd Away

Jim "Ace Ventura" Carrey talks about getting crazy on- and offscreen, about having sex with a rug, about romancing Linda Ronstadt, and about his big summer movie The Mask.

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With his Bob's Big Boy do and relentless Silly Putty mugging, Jim Carrey doesn't exactly fit the profile of your traditional romantic figure in his out-of-the-blue smash hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. But while I was watching Ace, I noticed two nearby prepubescent girls who, when they weren't howling at Carrey's antics, were staring swooningly at him. So I asked Diane, my unfailingly accurate sex barometer pal, how she sized up Carrey's appeal. She replied instantly, paraphrasing Rosie Perez's take on Christian Slater in Untamed Heart, "I'd do him, if he weren't too funny in bed."

Although I'm guessing Jim Carrey is too funny just about everywhere, it's obvious these girls aren't crazy. Decked out in a wicked, vintage bowling shirt and black jeans, the star of Ace and the new, highly touted The Mask is surprisingly easy on the eye. And equally surprisingly, he's charming. Sweet, even. Right now, he could be flogging his new flick or the two others he's about to shoot back to back. Instead, he's happily reminiscing about his adolescent delight in flogging the old joystick. "I went through a big humping stage as a kid where I humped everything in the house," Carrey recalls. "Once I realized I could masturbate, I would literally wait only until everybody in my family went downstairs, then just find something, anything, to hump. At one point, the only thing left in the house I hadn't already humped was this fuzzy green rug beside my parents' bed. I saw it and went, 'Ohhhhh, wow, gotta have that rug.'

"So, one time, when everybody was downstairs doing whatever they were doing, I got completely naked, went into my parents' room and started humping the green rug and was, like, completely gone when I heard someone coming up the stairs. My father walked into the room and there I am on the floor on the opposite side of the bed, freaking out completely. I figure, I'll hide under the bed, 'cause he was never really observant, you know? So, I started getting under the bed, but I could only get halfway, so half my naked body's sticking out. I'm just praying for him not to see me, when I hear, 'Jim? Jim? Are you okay?' My world just started spinning. I stood up, completely naked, sort of yawned and went, 'Oh, wow, I must have fallen asleep.' I grabbed my underwear off his pillow and walked out while he's putting on his shirt, going, 'Well, better get washed up for dinner.'"

After a beat, Carrey adds, mock mournfully, "I had to break up with that green fuzzy rug." This cracks us both up, because when we met to talk in this sinisterly hip apartment adjacent to the photographer's studio where Carrey is later to be shot for this story, the owner (who leased it for use in Reservoir Dogs, by the way) warned: "That's a very expensive Oriental rug. Don't dirty it."

"He must have had a sense about me and rugs," Carrey quips.

"But, my, yes," he goes on, "I was a horny kid. I fantasized a lot about female vampires. I had a woody for some of my teachers, too. I remember one time I was just gawking at one of my teachers' breasts and watching her butt shake when she was chalking the board. In my mind, I was in complete la-la land, fantasizing about how she'd ask me to stay after school and then we'd ... Well, anyway, back in the real world, she turned around and, in the middle of class, looked at me and went, 'What the hell are you thinking? My God, I was bursting in my head."

Bursting in his head is what Carrey, who's been plying his trade for over 15 years, nearly always seems to be doing. He is beloved by millions for dancing that knife edge between the surreal and the flat-out silly. As one of few white cast members of Fox Broadcasting's "In Living Color," for example, he turned such characters as flame-broiled Fire Marshall Bill and steroid mama Vera de Milo into cult figures. As self-enchanted idiot savant Ace Ventura, he transforms the simple act of getting through a door into an antic ballet that comes off like James Bond grafted onto Inspector Clouseau spliced with Jerry Lewis in The Great Escape.

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