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Jeff Daniels Feared Dumb and Dumber Toilet Scene Would End His Career

Jeff Daniels Feared Dumb and Dumber Toilet Scene Would End His Career

Jeff Daniels is looking back at his time filming the infamous toilet scene in Dumb and Dumber and how he feared it would end his acting career.

The actor, known for several of his more dramatic roles, recently told USA Today that even his agents warned him about taking on the role of Harry, the “dumber” of two friends, alongside Jim Carrey‘s Lloyd in the 1994 comedy.

“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,’” Daniels recalled. “But I wanted to shake it up with a comedy. And I wanted to work with Jim Carrey.”

Going into the project, the Terms of Endearment star knew he had to fully commit to the outlandish comedy scenes, as the movie studio initially wanted to cast a comedian for the role.

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

However, when it came time to film the scene where Harry had extreme digestive problems on Mary’s toilet after drinking laxative-spiked tea, he began to worry about how it may impact his acting career.

“It’s one thing to read the toilet scene, but then the day comes and we’re actually going to do the toilet scene,” Daniels explained. “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.’”

Thanks to Carrey’s advice, The Newsroom actor decided to give it his all in that bathroom, making for the now-memorable sequence.

“That was a couple hours of porcelain gymnastics,” Daniels added. “And that close-up when they pop in tight on my red face. I had been doing it so long, I had almost passed out.”

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Once the beloved film became a success, Daniels’ worries went away. The actor even recalled Clint Eastwood introducing himself at a celebrity golf tournament to congratulate him on the film.

Dumb and Dumber ultimately became a box-office hit, which led Daniels and Carrey to reprise their roles for a 2014 sequel, Dumb and Dumber To.

“I did my job, beyond my job,” The A Man in Full actor said. “In terms of comedic scenes, that toilet scene will probably outlive us. It will be funny 40 years from now.”

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