AceShowbiz - "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" might be a career turning point for some of the cast and crew members, but it was also a real nightmare for makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji. In a recent interview with Vulture, Tsuji revealed how working with Jim Carrey for the 2000 live-action movie tortured him mentally.
The Academy Award-winning makeup artist said that shooting the holiday classic was not easy for Carrey, who had to don elaborate makeup including green fur all over his body and the gigantic contact lenses. And according to Tsuji, the actor expressed his frustration on the crew.
"Once we were on set, he was really mean to everybody and at the beginning of the production they couldn't finish," he recalled the experience. "After two weeks we only could finish three days' worth of shooting schedule, because suddenly he would just disappear and when he came back, everything was ripped apart. We couldn't shoot anything."
Sharing about one particularly terrible day, he continued, "In the makeup trailer he just suddenly stands up and looks in the mirror, and pointing on his chin, he goes, 'This color is different from what you did yesterday.' I was using the same color I used yesterday. He says, 'Fix it.' And okay, you know, I 'fixed' it. Every day was like that."
Tsuji then talked with head makeup artist Rick Baker and one of the film's producers, who were also unhappy with the slow pace. They suggested that Tsuji would retreat so Carrey realized how valuable he was. And it did work. After a week of hiding, Carrey called him but he didn't answer and he didn't call back. Then director Ron Howard called, saying that Carrey had sworn to change.
"I went back under one condition," Tsuji said. "I was talking with my friends, and they all told me, 'You should ask for a raise before you go back.' I didn't want to do that - kind of nasty. Then I got the idea: How about I ask them to help me to get a green card?" They agreed and Carrey "kept his temper in check" for the remainder of filming.
Tsuji added that he started seeing a therapist afterward and it made him realize how unhappy he was on set. "I'm really an introvert," he said. "I don't like to be in many groups of people, or work under those conditions. And the anxiety of what could happen in the next moment - maybe the actor freaks out or changes their mind - always being ready for it." He remembered thinking, "If I had a choice, I would not be in this mental state all the time."