Men In Black International arrives on Channel 4 at 8:30pm on Saturday 14th January 2023, but long before Thor star Chris Hemsworth took over the series, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith were the faces of the franchise While both were extremely famous in their own right at the time, Jones was also known for being “rude” on the set of Tim Burton’s Batman series.
Jones worked alongside Carrey in 1995’s Batman Forever. Jones played Two-Face, while Carrey was The Riddler.
The tongue-in-cheek film involved plenty of garish sets, outrageous makeup, and a jam-packed script. But Carrey still managed to give himself a strong comic role in the picture. This detail was something that Jones could not bear.
Director Joel Schumacher recalled, “I said Tommy Lee Jones was a kid in People magazine…he was terrific in The Client. But he wasn’t nice to Jim Carrey when we were making Batman Forever.”
Schumacher reflected that Jones was irritated with Carrey due to his extremely outgoing personality.
“Tommy is,” he recalled. “And I say this with great respect, a scene stealer. Well, you can’t steal the scene from Jim Carrey. It’s impossible. And I think he upset Tommy.” He clarified that Jones did not try to steal any scenes from Carrey, but that he “wasn’t nice” to Carrey. He said: “He didn’t act with Jim in the way that an Oscar winner with a star on Hollywood Boulevard, being the longest-serving member of the cast and with such a distinguished career and the accolades that go with it, should have acted with Jim. But what happens on set stays on set.”
Carrey corroborated these claims by recalling a time when Jones was particularly aggressive towards him in person.
The comedian appeared on the Norm Macdonald Live podcast in 2018. He recalled going to dinner one night and running into the actor during filming. He recalled: “The maitre d’ said, ‘Oh, I hear you’re working with Tommy Lee Jones. He’s in the corner having dinner.'”
Carrey said, “Hello Tommy, how are you?” But he didn’t get the answer he expected. “The blood just drained from his face,” he said. Carrey described the actor as if she had been “thinking about him 24 hours a day.”
“He got up shaking,” he continued. “She must have been in the middle of a fantasy of killing me or something.”
Jones then stood up, hugged Carrey and told him, “I hate you. I really don’t like you.”
Carrey continued: “I said, ‘What’s the problem?’ And she pulled up a chair [to his dinner table]That probably wasn’t smart.”
Jones replied, “I can’t sanction your slapstick.” After Batman Forever, Carrey and Jones did not work together again.
But his movie made a lot of money. Although the movie was made on a staggering budget of $100 million, it earned a whopping $336 million at the box office.
Schumacher then returned to the series to direct a sequel, Batman & Robin, in 1997.
Men In Black and Batman Forever are available to rent on Amazon Prime Video now.
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