Actor Jeff Daniels laughs last with 'Dumb and Dumber To'

Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:05pm EST
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jeff Daniels' phone rang, and his agents were on the line.

"It was an intervention," said the actor, who had a reputation for serious roles in successful films, of the failed attempt two decades ago to prevent him from doing low-brow comedy "Dumb and Dumber" with two rookie directors.

"We're going to stop this. You're not going to do this movie, and we're going to keep you on the Oscar trail," Daniels, 59, remembered his agents saying. They could not foresee that his role as the dimwitted, unemployed dog groomer Harry would become one of his most well-known characters and box office successes.

Daniels reprises that role, reputation intact, in "Dumb and Dumber To" - with a misspelled number - alongside Jim Carrey, whose performance as Harry's equally dense and foolish best friend Lloyd Christmas established the comedian as one of Hollywood's leading stars.

The gross-out adventure comedy from brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly will debut in U.S. theaters on Friday and begins with Harry, 20 years older but just as stupid, needing a kidney transplant but unable to find a donor match.

That is until he learns about an unknown daughter he fathered who was put up for adoption. He and Lloyd set out on a road trip to find her but become unwittingly ensnared in a murder plot.

"Find your kid, find your kidney!" Lloyd exclaims to a puzzled Harry.

Their trip unfolds with typical harebrained hijinks, including crossing the country in a borrowed hearse and a stolen Zamboni ice resurfacer.   Continued...

Actor Jeff Daniels poses at the world premiere of the film "Dumb and Dumber To" in Los Angeles, November 3, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok