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Jim Carrey Shares His Passion (and Surprising Talent) for Art in Documentary ‘I Needed Color’

You think you know someone, and then… you discover that Jim Carrey is the new Picasso!

Not news to everyone, the finding came via a humble documentary directed by Hollywood producer David Bushell and posted online 2 weeks ago, called Jim Carrey: I Needed Color.

Although the 6-minute short might exhibit all the characteristics of a Funny or Die satire on tortured artists, it is, in fact, no joke at all and genuinely inspiring.

Pretty discreet about his seemingly newfound passion, Jim Carrey reveals in the film that he has actually been drawing and painting since he was a kid. A form of expression and healing process that the actor says he only seriously picked up 6 years ago after a difficult breakup.

“What you do in life chooses you,” declares Carrey as the video begins. “You can choose not to do it. You can choose to try to do something safer. Your vocation chooses you.” A statement that echoes with his famous speech for the 2014 Maharishi University of Management graduation ceremony, in which he, by referring to his father’s failure at doing something he hated (supposedly a ‘safe’ job), shared the lesson that if you can fail at what you don’t want, then you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.

With I Needed Color, Carrey unveils an intimate and unexpected side of his personality as well. That of a performer who, despite having built a career by taking center stage and portraying eccentric characters, also finds solace in seclusion. “My room was heaven to me,” says Carrey describing his childhood, when he spent half his time performing for others and the other drawing in his bedroom. “My isolation was welcome.”

When he’s not busy working on a new project (like his critically acclaimed Showtime series about the infamous L.A. stand-up comedy scene of the ’70s, I’m Dying Up Here), Carrey spends time in his art studio producing paintings and sculptures. A creative process he describes in the documentary as freeing and revealing. “What makes someone an artist is they make models of their inner life,” he explains. “I don’t know what painting teaches me. I just know that it frees me. Free from the future. Free from the past. Free from regrets. Free from worry.”

In the end, as the comedian points out, the true message I Needed Color attempts to convey is that art, whether it’s acting or painting, is art, meaning just another way to expose yourself and feel loved. “The bottom line of this, whether it’s performance, or it’s art, or it’s sculpture, is love. We want to show ourselves and have that be accepted.”