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Veteran film and music video director Michel Gondry has worked on a few episodes of television as a guest director in the past, but he will truly make his mark on the small screen with the 10-episode first season of Dave Holstein’s dramedy “Kidding” on Showtime.
Gondry tells Variety he was drawn to the project by its premise, which explores grief through Jim Carrey’s character Jeff/Mr. Pickles, a children’s television icon who must continue to play the upbeat man on-screen while his family falls apart around him after the death of one of his young sons.
Series - Reunion - Director - Actor - Film
The series is a reunion of the director and actor, who collaborated on the 2004 film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” That experience informed this project, with Gondry wanting to capture “the Jim that’s a little bit sad and touching” that he found on “Eternal Sunshine.”
Gondry credits Carrey for being willing to “go far” for the role, which included shaving a strip of hair at the center of his head for a pivotal one-take scene in the premiere. And while he said Carrey trusted him as the “guardian” of the material, he also trusted Carrey to bring his own instincts as an actor. “The actors are their characters,” says Gondry. “Sometimes they know things that you don’t know, so you have to let them try different things.”
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Play - Gondry - Scene - Episode - Carrey
This came into play most notably for Gondry during a scene in the second episode in which Carrey’s Jeff confronts his father (played by Frank Langella) over wanting to air an episode where Mr. Pickles talks about death.
“He takes the tape off his shelf, puts it on the desk and screams at it as if it’s a person,”...
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