15 years later: Carrey and Gondry on Eternal Sunshine

Great piece on Vanity Fair's site, where Jim Carrey and Michel Gondry got together to share memories of working on Eternal Sunshine. There are a handful of nuggets here that I don't remember hearing before.

A post-S.N.L., pre-30 RockTracy Morgan, for example, played Joel’s neighbor in a few flashbacks that did not make the finished film. “He’s a comedic genius,” said Gondry—“Genius!” Carrey emphasized. But “the reality is he was Tracy Morgan”—which made his presence a bit of a distraction. (Morgan’s rep says the comedian doesn’t remember if he acted in the film.)

At least Morgan is in good company: the film also could have featured Ellen Pompeo, who had a scrapped scene as Joel’s ex-girlfriend, Naomi. To this day, Carrey swears Gondry cast Pompeo because of her glancing resemblance to Renée Zellweger, with whom he had just broken up before filming Eternal Sunshine.


Gondry had one concern, though; his debut film, Human Nature (also written by Kaufman), was about to hit theaters, and he was pretty sure it was going to be a box-office flop, which could very well scare away the big movie star he had just hooked. “Michel and I sat in this restaurant, and he made me sign a napkin saying when Human Nature came out and was a bomb, I wouldn’t let him go,” Carrey recalled with a laugh.


Gondry, for his part, remembered knowing Winslet was exactly right for the part of the kooky, bewigged Clementine because she was the only person unafraid to give notes on Kaufman’s script. (Source)

One anecdote I think Carrey gets wrong, speaking of changes made to the script: “We don’t end up together in Charlie’s version. I walk away,” Carrey said in a recent phone interview. Doesn't the script marked as the First Draft end on a depressing note, with Carrey's character as an old man, still living out the memory erasure loop, trying to reconnect with Clem? I dunno. Probably at some point, the script had the ending Carrey describes. It's been 15 years and I am too sleepy/lazy to check.

Big thanks to Mark, Laurel and Julie!

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