Netflix acquired Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton. The documentary film chronicles Jim Carrey‘s immersive role as experimental comedian/performance artist Andy Kaufman in 1999 biopic, Man on the Moon.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, Her) produced the project alongside VICE’s Danny Gabai and Brendan Fitzgerald. Director Chris Smith utilized roughly 100 hours of footage filmed on the set of Milos Forman’s acclaimed movie across a four-month span.
During the shoot, Carrey transformed into Kaufman. Surrounded by the late comic’s friends and family, the actor refused to break character, with both cast and crew referring to him by “Andy.”
Kaufman’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, and writing partner, Bob Zmuda, captured Jim & Andy‘s intimate backstage moments on camera. Smith blends this vintage footage with Carrey’s recent reflections on the performance, for which he earned a Golden Globe. The actor looks back on his overall career arc, his and Kaufman’s similar backgrounds and his experiences channeling both the avant-garde comic and his loud-mouthed lounge singer alter-ego character, Tony Clifton.
Carrey recently looked back on his somewhat “psychotic” method acting approach during a recent interview following the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival. “Jim Carrey didn’t exist at that time,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that he even remained in-character during a two-hour phone call with Ron Howard, his director on 2000 holiday film How the Grinch Stole Christmas.