Interview: Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor Talk about “PHILLIP MORRIS” and Gay Sex

While doing the promotional rounds for their new film I Love You Phillip Morris, it became clear that stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor truly saw the film as a labor of love and not just another studio movie. For one thing, it was shot on a smaller budget without the luxuries they’re both accustomed to and even better, both actors are still promoting the movie almost two years since its Sundance premiere. The politics behind the film’s delay are another story but for now let’s focus on the film. To be blunt, it’s surprisingly good and a welcome departure from the usual Jim Carrey vehicles we’re used to. The film is of course a comedy but not in the way you’d expect. Carrey stars as Christian family man Steven Russell, who after years of living in the closet decides to fully come out and embrace a new gay lifestyle. Through a series of events we see him cheat, steal and fall in love in prison with another gay inmate (Ewan McGregor). All of this is played for laughs and is based on a true story. Without going into major spoilers I can say that the film was a huge hit at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals and is finally rolling out into more theatres this week. The following is my conversation with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor to promote the film. What kinds of things are you doing for the gay community? Jim Carrey: What I’m doing for the gay community is loving and tolerating. Accepting everyone on equal terms. How was the experience of making out with Ewan McGregor? Carrey: A dream come true. I mean look at the guy. Did you have any reservations playing a gay character? Ewan McGregor: It’s the same as playing any other kind of man. The story is about being in love, being gay has nothing to do with it. Playing the character was never weird, or awkward, or unpleasant. Carrey: But it was hard to let go of it. Ewan, did you meet Phillip Morris before starting the movie? McGregor: I met Phillip Morris on the way to start the shoot. I spent about a day-and-a-half with him. It’s fascinating. If you want to do a good impersonation of someone, just follow them around for a day-and-a-half. Carrey: I didn’t get a chance to meet my character. I wasn’t allowed to go up to the prison and I don’t think they were nuts about us doing this movie in Texas. I got some recordings through and was able to speak to him that way. It was very fascinating to hear from somebody who was fascinated by someone else making a movie about him. Especially because he would never get to see it but Phillip would. It was kind of sad and poignant. You could tell that it was thrilling for him that someone was going to make his life story and he might never get to see it. Is there a chance he could get out of jail? Carrey: They’re pretty serious about keeping him behind bars. He embarrassed a lot of people. The real Phillip Morris makes a cameo in the movie, right? Carrey: Yeah. We couldn’t stop him from looking into the camera lens. He ruined take after take after take. It was quite hilarious, I don’t know how we got around that. Jim, is it true that you sent the script to Ewan immediately after signing on to the movie? Carrey: Yes but I don’t have any casting couch stories. McGregor: He humiliated me. Do you have a favorite scene from the film? Carrey: I honestly don’t have a favorite scene. It’s a wonderful thing to go into work everyday and do this kind of work. To do it with great people and great material is a blessing so it’s like asking me which baby do you like best. On a movie like this you feel pretty lucky. I Love You Phillip Morris is now playing in American limited theatres nationwide. Follow me on Twitter @BigDumbMale