You can usually count on Hollywood’s well-oiled marketing machine to bring its a stars together to sell a picture. So it can be quite a spectacle when a big player refuses to go by the rules and throws a spanner in the works. That happened when Jim Carrey, star of the superhero action comedy Kick-Ass 2, declared he wouldn’t promote the film that opens in cinemas this week.
Carrey, long an advocate of gun control legislation, was concerned by the fatal Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut last December. The actor told his 11 million Twitter followers: “I did Kick-Ass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence.”
His announcement caused shock waves in Hollywood because big name stars who are unhappy with their films normally keep their mouths shut – although they sometimes open up afterwards. Christopher Plummer loathed The Sound of Music and subsequently referred to it as “The Sound of Mucus”. Alec Guinness, not a fan of Star Wars in which he appeared as Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, described the dialogue as “mumbo jumbo”.
But a big star like Carrey distancing himself from a picture before its release is highly unusual – and it certainly got people talking. “I don’t remember any actor doing something like this ever before,” says Tim Gray, International Editor at Variety – Hollywood’s oldest industry trade publication. “Jim Carrey said ‘Look, I made this before Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut and now I’m having second thoughts about it.’ So the fact that he did it on principle – I like him for that.”