Dumb and Dumber Star Thought Gross Scene Could Kill His Career


  • Jeff Daniels feared taking on hilarious scenes in
    Dumb and Dumber,
    but Jim Carrey convinced him to go for it.
  • Daniels worried about ending up as just “the other guy” next to Carrey, but embraced the outlandishness.
  • The infamous toilet scene in the film caused Daniels great concern, but Carrey’s pep talk led to its success.

Dumb and Dumber is still remembered as one of the Farrelly brothers’ biggest hit comedies, and a big part of the movie’s success was down to the hilarious double act of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. However, the latter of the two stars had some reservations about the gross-out comedy and how it would impact his career. Several memorable scenes from the movie involved Daniels’ character Harry doing things that, at the time, he worried would damage his credit as a serious actor due to his agent’s response to the script.

In a recent interview with USA Today, Daniels reflected on his role in the 30-year-old film, sharing his initial fears about taking on the role, and how it was co-star Carrey who essentially talked him around. Speaking about how his agents reacted to the movie’s script, Daniels said:

“I had agents, who weren’t wrong, telling me, ‘You’re a serious actor. This is not the direction you need to be going. We’re going to stop this and get you off this movie.’ But I wanted to shake it up with a comedy. And I wanted to work with Jim Carrey.”

dumb and dumber

Dumb and Dumber

Release Date
December 16, 1994


For Harry and Lloyd every day is a no-brainer.

One of the big factors in Daniels taking on the role was recognizing that if he did not do the scenes laid out for his character, then the movie would simply become “Jim Carrey and the other guy.” For that reason, Daniels wanted to really go for it and throw himself into the outlandishness of the film. He continued:

“It was like, I’ve got scenes. I knew I was going to score. If [the Farrelly brothers] cut those, the movie was going to be ‘Jim and the other guy.'”

Dumb and Dumber’s Toilet Scene Worried Jeff Daniels

Jeff Daniels on a toilet in Dumb and Dumber

One scene in the movie really did make Daniels wonder if he was going to be able to pull off the role of Harry Dunne. That was the hilariously gross moment where Harry has his drink spiked with laxatives by Carrey’s Lloyd and ends up being stuck in the bathroom of potential girlfriend Mary’s home – where the toilet doesn’t flush. After several moments of face-pulling and horrendously wet noises, Harry discovers to his horror that he has no way of getting rid of the contents of the toilet.

This one scene caused Daniels some of his biggest concerns, but it only took a pep talk from “fearless” Carrey to set him on the road to creating one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. He recalled:

“It’s one thing to read the toilet scene, but then the day comes, and we’re actually going to do the toilet scene. I told Jim, ‘This is either the beginning of my career or the end of it.’ Jim, who is fearless, told me, ‘It’s going to be great. You’ve just got to go all the way with it.'”


Why Dumb and Dumber Is a Perfect Road Trip Movie

The Farrelly Brothers’ slapstick comedy Dumb and Dumber is smarter than it claims to be.

As it turns out, not only did Daniels “go all the way” and make the scene work, it also helped the film achieve success at the box office. The actor’s career did not crash and burn, and he even reprised his role as Harry in the belated sequel Dumb and Dumber To 20 years later. However, Daniels has rarely been seen the kind of over-the-top comedy that Dumb and Dumber delivered, having delivered most of his most memorable performances in dramas and satire, such as his current role as the Trumpesque Charlie Croker in Netflix’s A Man in Full, which is streaming now on the platform.

Dumb and Dumber
is currently available on VOD services, while
Dumb and Dumber To
recently arrived on Netflix.


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