Biggest Pay Gap Ever? Jim Carrey’s Co-Star Was Paid 140 Times Less in Cult Comedy

Biggest Pay Gap Ever? Jim Carrey’s Co-Star Was Paid 140 Times Less in Cult Comedy
Image credit: New Line Cinema

Jim Carrey certainly knows a thing or two about negotiating his salary.


  • Initially, Jim Carrey was supposed to receive $350,000 for his role in Dumb and Dumber, but in 1994, Ace Ventura was released, and the actor managed to negotiate a salary of $7 million.
  • The studio did not want to see the second leading actor, Jeff Daniels, in the movie at all – before that he had played mostly dramatic roles, so he was offered only $50,000, but the actor still agreed.
  • As it turned out, Carrey and Daniels proved to be the perfect comedy duo, but Jeff was still paid 140 times less than Jim.

Two friends, Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, go in search of Mary, who left her suitcase at the airport and disappeared. Of course, the two do not know that the woman did this on purpose: the case was meant for the criminals who kidnapped her husband, and now the entire rescue operation is about to fail because of Lloyd and Harry.

The Farrelly brothers' film could have been another shameless comedy in Jim Carrey's filmography, but the result exceeded even the wildest expectations. On the one hand, Dumb and Dumber is an exemplary slapstick in which characters fall and break everything around them.

On the other hand, it is a provocative road movie that will make even the most conservative viewer laugh at its below-the-belt jokes and audacious humor.

1994 was probably the best year in Jim Carrey's career – three movies starring him were released at the same time (apart from Dumb and Dumber, also The Mask and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), and all three became huge hits.

Jim Carrey Was Paid $7M for Dumb And Dumber

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After that, a completely unknown actor suddenly became a worldwide star. The result was that the two leads, who had absolutely the same amount of work in Dumb and Dumber, received a salary that was so different that it is literally hard to comprehend.

It turns out that the producers initially offered Jim Carrey $350,000 for his role in the Farrelly brothers' film. Carrey said he wanted $400,000 and the producers took a break to think about it.

While they were thinking, Ace Ventura was released and became an instant hit. After long negotiations, Jim Carrey was finally paid $7 million to play Lloyd – more than any comedian had ever been paid. And that’s despite the fact that the movie's budget was only $16 million.

Jeff Daniels Was Paid Only $50,000 For The Same Movie

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But as it turned out, the studio simply did not want to see Jeff Daniels in the lead role. The actor from Woody Allen 's films, as well as action and detective ones, was in no way suitable for the role in the comedy. Therefore, the studio offered him only $50,000, expecting that he would refuse. But he didn't.

It was during rehearsals, when Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels were reading their lines, that the directors realized that this was an explosive combination – Daniels improvised all the time, forcing Carrey to look for a new approach to his lines and actions.

And while the Carrey-Daniels duo was undoubtedly a dream team that went down in comedy history, Jeff was paid 140 times less than Jim. Life is sometimes extremely cruel.