In 1994, the fantasy superhero slapstick action comedy ‘The Mask,’ directed by Chuck Russell, became a huge hit and a sensation once released in the theatres. The film was successful in numerous ways:
The wild antics of Jim Carrey’s character Stanley Ipkiss, who finds a mask that turns him into a maniacal trickster uninhibited by anything, including physical reality, was the perfect showcase for Carrey’s comedic ability.
Released over twenty years ago, ‘The Mask’ has stood the test of time and become an admired classic to many.
1. The movie was based on a Dark Horse comic book series of the same name. However, the comics were often comprised of very dark horror stories that involved murder, yet with cartoon antics. Originally, the film was going to follow the comic’s tone, but it was later transformed as a vehicle for Jim Carrey’s unique comedy.
2. The banana-yellow suit that Jim Carrey’s character iconically dons is based on a suit that his mother made for him when he was starting out as a stand-up comic. Carrey has also admitted that he based the character on his father.
3. The dog in the film wasn’t the most well-trained canine, which resulted in a lot of the dog’s scenes being improvised on set. The scenes where Milo won’t let go of the frisbee and when he won’t run up the wall are ad-libbed.
4. The oversized teeth on the Mask character were only supposed to be used visually for silent scenes. However, Carrey learned to talk with them, which benefited the overall character. This isn’t the only time Carrey saved the special effects department money; since his body movements were so naturally cartoonish, they didn’t have to enhance them digitally.
5. The interior shot of the garage where Carrey’s character gets ripped off by the mechanics was filmed in the same location as the firehouse from ‘Ghostbusters.’
6. This was Cameron Diaz’s first movie role. The part was originally considered for Anna Nicole Smith, but producers found Diaz by chance as she was leaving a modeling agency. However, Diaz still had to earn her part, auditioning 12 times before landing the role just 7 days before shooting began.
7. 1994 was a phenomenal year for Jim Carrey, one that saw him skyrocket to stardom. He was only paid $450,000 for his role in ‘The Mask,’ but his role in ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ ended up becoming an unexpected smash hit. In the same year, Carrey received a $7 million dollar paycheck for ‘Dumb & Dumber.’
8. While ‘Ace Ventura’ may have dominated the box office, it was panned by critics. However, ‘The Mask’ was the film that helped change critics’ opinion of Jim Carrey, being his best-reviewed film of the year. Roger Ebert called Carrey a ‘hyper goon’ when he reviewed ‘Ace Ventura’ but praised his ‘joyful performance’ in ‘The Mask.’
9. After consuming the bomb, the Mask says, ‘That’s a spicy meatball!’ This line was a reference to a famous commercial for Alka-Seltzer, in which an actor had to eat meatballs for over 60 takes because he couldn’t deliver this line.
10. As the character has an obsession with cartoons, the Mask makes references to many characters, including the Tasmanian Devil (when he travels as a tornado), Pepe Le Pew (when romancing Tina), and Bugs Bunny (‘dying’ in the gangster’s arms).
11. There were plans for a sequel; however, Jim Carrey decided not to reprise his role. The sequel was planned to have Dorian returning to perpetrate new villainy, and the Mask was going to be worn by a woman, which happens in the source comics.
12. Cameron Diaz’s singing voice was dubbed by Susan Boyd, who has lent her voice to various productions, most notably cartoons.