Jim Carrey Once Experienced Post-Traumatic Stress After Jumping off a Bridge for a Movie

Actor and comedian Jim Carrey proved he was willing to go the distance for his films when he bungee jumped off a bridge. But the actor quipped that doing so led to a brief case of trauma.

How Jim Carrey reacted when he thought he was going to die

Jim Carrey at the 'Sonic' premiere.
Jim Carrey | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Carrey already thought that he was close to a premature death once before. The Mask star recalled a moment when he was on an island in Hawaii writing with his daughter. It was then he received a message from his assistant that a missile was heading in his direction.

“My brain started winding,” he said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The actor couldn’t get off the island with his daughter. But instead of panicking, he looked over at the ocean that surrounded the island and couldn’t help but think about his good fortune.

“I could not stop thinking about wonderful things that have happened to me and blessings that I’ve had,” he added.

He soon learned that the message he received was a false alarm that resulted from human error. Still, it left enough of a profound impression on Carrey that he included it in his book Memoirs and Misinformation. The cover of his book was a screenshot accidentally taken of Carrey’s face when he learned he had 10 minutes to live.

“That cover is somebody staring at infinity, staring at eternity,” Carrey once told USA Today. “And it wasn’t panic. It was more the feeling of, ‘Wow, that’s weird. Huh. That’s how it’s gonna end? Strange.'”

Jim Carrey once joked he had post-traumatic stress after jumping off a bridge for a movie

The situation in Hawaii wasn’t the only time Carrey thought about a premature demise. Carrey starred in the 2008 movie Yes Man. The film followed a character trying to live more positively for the sake of his own happiness. Although a comedy, Carrey was tasked to do a stunt for the movie that would have him bungee jump off a bridge.

Before he did the stunt, Carrey didn’t think much of it. But as the veteran actor approached the edge of the bridge, he only had one thought in mind.

“Death, death, a lot of thoughts of death,” he once said in an interview with MTV News. “You know, thoughts of crossing over were actually going through my mind [laughs]. It was very strange. It was like, ‘Well, they do this all the time, this is no big [deal], they’ve got this down. It’s no problem.’ And then [when] I got to the bridge I went, ‘Oh my god, what have I done? What am I doing here?'”

The stunt was so frightening for Carrey at the time that he continued having lingering thoughts about it afterward.

“It was insane, it was unbelievable. I actually had post-traumatic stress after it [laughter]. For about a week after it, I dreamed of hitting the ground,” he said.

Carrey was glad to cross bungee jumping off of his bucket list. But he had no intention of ever repeating the stunt again.

“They didn’t want me to do it at all, and I said, “Well, I’m going to do it once in my life, so you might as well get it on camera,” he added.

Jim Carrey nearly drowned while filming ‘The Truman Show’

Despite his prior experiences, perhaps the closest Carrey came to actual death was on his 1998 hit film The Truman Show. Speaking to Vanity Fair, the actor recalled a moment that might’ve been caught on film of Carrey signaling for help while drowning.

“I was wearing wool clothing – a big, wool sweater, wool pants, and shoes, and they had jet engines blowing on me, and they had these giant wave machines that were creating gale-force waves,” Carrey said. “I don’t know if you can see it in the film, but they’ve got divers under the water, and I’m actually giving the signal of like, ‘I’m in trouble,’ which was a clenched fist. They just saw it as acting.”

Fortunately, Carrey was able to use the last bit of energy he had left to swim to safety.

“I went under, I had no breath left, and I was drowning,” he said. “I was under the water at the bottom of the pool, and with the last breath, with the last hint of consciousness, I just spun and made a couple of gigantic strokes toward the back of the storm and came up outside the storm gasping for air and exhausted.”

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