Overnight stardom isn’t really a thing in Hollywood, when the vast majority of actors tend to have been working for years if not decades before they finally catch their shot at glory, but Jim Carrey‘s 1994 has to go down as one of the biggest breakout periods for any performer of the modern era.
The funnyman made his screen debut in 1980, but was still a relative unknown until Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber landed in theaters within ten months of each other. All three hit big at the box office and saw audiences quoting a ton of memorable lines, and just like that, Carrey was now one of the most recognizable and popular stars in the entire industry.
Of the three, The Mask fared best from both a critical and commercial perspective, while it also launched the career of future A-lister Cameron Diaz for good measure. A frenetic, hilarious, inventive and massively entertaining showcase for the leading man’s boundless energy and natural charisma, the smartest move the project made was deviating far away from the comic book source material, which is much darker in tone than Chuck Russell’s vibrant effort.
The Mask currently ranks as one of the most-watched titles on Hulu, and even reached as high as fourth position over the weekend. Sequel Son of the Mask may be rightly lauded as one of the worst movies ever made, but even such an awful follow up can’t do anything to detract from the quality of the original. There’s been increased chatter over the last year or so that Carrey is seriously entertaining the prospect of returning as Stanley Ipkiss, but we’ll just have to wait and see how those rumors pan out.