While it continues to be one of the more divisive films to feature the Caped Crusader since its release in 1995, the fact of the matter is that there are still many fans out there who love Batman Forever. Personally, I didn’t hate it, but I’d much rather watch one of the movies directed by either Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan because, quite frankly, it was hard to take much of WB’s third crack at the Bat seriously.
So, if you’re of the same opinion as I am, then odds are that you didn’t take too kindly to how the villains were portrayed. Not to take anything away from Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones as actors, but their turns as the Riddler and Two-Face, respectively, were over the top, to say the least. In short, Carrey was playing Carrey and Jones apparently thought he was playing the Joker. Needless to say, this, among other things, led to much one-upmanship between the two.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carrey humbly reflected on Batman Forever’s production and his working relationship with Jones, saying the following:
“I was the star and that was the problem. He’s a phenomenal actor, though. I still love him….He might have been uncomfortable doing that work, too. That’s not really his style of stuff.”
Sure, saying he was “the star” isn’t quite fair because he wasn’t the one tasked with playing the Dark Knight, but aside from all the buzz surrounding Val Kilmer filling Michael Keaton’s shoes, I do remember one of the bigger talking points around that time being that of Carrey’s involvement. Hot off his appearances in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, it’s undeniable that his rising star helped to sell more than a few tickets.
But even as someone who was critical of his performance, it’s disheartening to read what Carrey had to say about an encounter he had with his co-star in a restaurant:
“The maitre said, ‘Oh, I hear you’re working with Tommy Lee Jones. He’s over in the corner having dinner.’ I went over and I said, ‘Hey Tommy, how are you doing?’ and the blood just drained from his face. And he got up shaking — he must have been in mid kill me fantasy or something like that. And he went to hug me and he said, ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you.’ And I said, ‘What’s the problem?’ and pulled up a chair, which probably wasn’t smart. And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.'”
One has to wonder how Jones could look down upon Carrey’s “buffoonery” when his own take on Two-Face was anything but straight-faced. Really, all we can do is envy our alternate universe doppelgangers who got to see Billy Dee Williams reprise the role of Harvey Dent in Batman Forever.