Jim Carrey Recalls The Time He Was Told He Only Had 10 Minutes To Live


Jim Carrey has just released Memoirs and Misinformation, a semi-biographical novel starring himself as the lead character struggling with ennui. The Mask, Bruce Almighty and The Truman Show star recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote it and explained the surprising origins of the book’s cover.

Speaking by Zoom from an isolated Montreal cabin he’s living in during quarantine, Carrey explained that the cover “is actually my face after being told that I had 10 minutes to live.”

“And that’s for real. A fake missile alert in Hawaii. I was there. I was writing. My assistant Linda called me, she was crying, she said, ‘We have 10 minutes left.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘The missiles are coming.”

Carrey’s referring to the infamous incident in Hawaii in January 2018 in which an emergency alert text was sent to all residents of Hawaii reading: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” This proved to be a world-class screw-up by employees of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and, naturally, resulted in mass panic as the people of Hawaii thought they were about to be consumed in nuclear fire.

So, how did Carrey respond?

“It was completely real to us and my brain started whining and I read to get off the island with my daughter. I couldn’t get off the island. The question was posed — should we all try to get together? I said, ‘I don’t want to die in my car.’ And we had to say goodbye.” I sat and looked out at the ocean and at that point I just started going ‘well okay, what can I do with this last moment of time’ and I just decided to go through a list of gratitudes.

Honest to God, I just could not stop thinking of wonderful things that have happened to me and blessings that I’ve had. It was lovely. And I got to a point of grace with about two minutes to spare when I found out it wasn’t actually happening. And all I was planning to do was close my eyes and be thankful because it’s been a good ride.”

Fallon then asked what Carrey did when he found out the message was sent out by mistake, and the actor said:

 “Then I got pissed off and heads rolled!”

Well, fair enough.

Jim Carrey doesn’t have much on the cards at the moment as far as movies go, but that’s understandable given the current pandemic. Fortunately, his last major role as Doctor Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog was widely praised and the movie is currently the third highest-grossing of the year (though again, that’s largely because of COVID-19). He’s indicated that he’d love to return as Robotnik for the sequel, too, so I’m betting we’ll next see him on the big screen once more tangling with the blue blur.

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.