Jim Carrey "comes out" at Sundance

Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:56pm EST
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By Michelle Nichols

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - Jim Carrey outed his new movie "I Love You Phillip Morris" at the Sundance Film Festival this week, taking a risk in the gay romantic comedy by sharing passionate moments with co-star Ewan McGregor.

Based on a true story, Carrey plays cop-turned-conman Steven Russell, who falls in love with his cellmate Phillip Morris (McGregor) and escapes four times from the Texas jail where he is being held in a bid to be with his partner.

For Carrey, one of Hollywood's biggest box office draws in mainstream comedies such as "Liar, Liar" and "Bruce Almighty," taking the role in an independent film like "Philip Morris" could prove to be a real gamble.

Carrey, 47, risks losing the audiences that flock to his mainstream comedies such as "Yes Man," which has grossed about $100 million at U.S. box offices since its December release.

In the past, when he has starred in a movie that is not a broad comedy, it often flops.

Carrey's serious portrayal of late comedian Andy Kaufman in the 1999 drama "Man on the Moon" tanked at U.S. box offices with only $34 million and his 2007 horror movie "The Number 23" also stumbled with $35 million.

Yet, early reviews are good for "Phillip Morris" and, for their part, Carrey, McGregor and the directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa told reporters at a Monday news conference at Sundance, the top U.S. independent film festival, that the movie should not be pigeonholed.

"I don't think it's a gay movie," Carrey said. "It really is about the lengths we go to for acceptance and love."   Continued...

<p>Cast member Jim Carrey looks at co-star Ewan McGregor (R) as they arrive for the premiere of the film "I Love You Phillip Morris" at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 18, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>