Prior to Dumb and Dumber, Jeff Daniels was best known for his dramatic work, although he’d proven himself capable at understated comedy, which made his inspired casting and undiscovered slapstick brilliance even more of a masterstroke in the Farrelly brothers’ smash hit 1994 comedy.
However, we’ll be left wondering what might have been from now until the end of time, after Nicolas Cage shockingly revealed that Jim Carrey wanted him to play Harry Dunne, opposite the rubber-faced funnyman’s Lloyd Christmas. As incredible as the notion of Cage appearing in Dumber and Dumber is on virtually every conceivable level, he wound up making a much better decision for his own career.
Speaking to GQ, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent star dropped the Dumb and Dumber bombshell, before admitting he was busy prepping for the movie that would ultimately land him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
“I know Jim [Carrey] wanted me to be in [Dumb & Dumber] with him, but I wanted to do a little movie called Leaving Las Vegas instead.”
It was his Oscar win for Leaving Las Vegas that cemented Cage at the very top of the Hollywood A-list, and directly led to him venturing into blockbuster territory with the triple whammy of The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. Dumb and Dumber, meanwhile, secured Carrey’s status as one of the fastest-rising and most bankable talents in the industry.
That doesn’t mean we won’t be left wondering about what might have been, because the mere thought of replacing Daniels with Cage in any of the former’s most iconic Dumb and Dumber scenes is mind-blowing.