Kick-Ass 2's makers wanted an actor who was weird and wonderful - and got everything they bargained for in Jim Carrey.
By all accounts, the veteran comic actor gave a kick-butt performance as a patriotic vigilante, then proceeded to kick the movie in its teeth when he refused to do promotions for it because he thought it too violent.Which is bizarre since he had appeared to be a fan of the first film, which was no less violent, and was so enthusiastic during the filming of Kick-Ass 2 that he paid out of his own pocket for his character's prosthetics.
Writer-director Jeff Wadlow says: "I wanted someone who could get the Kick-Ass humour but, at the same time, I wanted someone intense, who was a little bit odd. The character in the movie is technically insane and Jim can convey the intensity that I wanted. "If you look at him in dramatic terms, he is very impressive and he is also a comedic genius. Jim was always at the top of my list."
The first film, the violent comic book movie that launched Chloe Grace Moretz on the road to stardom, took more than US$96 million (S$122 million) at the worldwide box office. It owed much of its success to an idiosyncratic performance from Nicolas Cage, playing the vigilante called Big Daddy, who gets killed.
For the sequel, the producers wanted an actor of similar standing, another famous and grizzled veteran to play opposite the fresh-faced trio of Moretz, Aaron Taylor- Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
Wadlow, 40, had watched an episode of an American chatshow with Conan O'Brien in which Carrey, 51, wore the Kick-Ass superhero suit, "so I knew he had some awareness of the property and I put out some feelers and let them know that we might be interested and, fortunately, it all worked out".
Somewhat less fortunately, the actor then got cold feet once the film was done and his performance was locked. The final version of the movie, he thought, was way too violent and he cancelled all his press duties.
"I did Kick-Ass a month before Sandy Hook and now, in all good conscience, I cannot support that level of violence," tweeted Carrey.