Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Connection between John le Carre' and Jim Carrey

In honour of J day... just kiddin. There's no such thing. However, if someone asked me to choose two celebrities with the initial J and to say something not commonly known about them, I'd pick Jim Carrey and John le Carre. True, both men have the initials of JC. But that's not what's interesting about them. 

Anybody watch The Dead Pool last night on television? It's a 1988 movie starring Clint Eastwood, Liam Nielson and ... (drum roll) the very young and dyamic Jim Carrey in his first non-comedic role.

Carrey's performance is outstanding, yet he's probably on screen less than 6 minutes as rock singer Johnny Squares. No mistaking just how talented this man is, even back then. I'm sure I saw The Dead Pool when it first came out, but didn't recognize Carrey because he wasn't the huge star he is today.

Warning: video isn't for the faint of heart...

FYI, Carrey was born in Newmarket, Ontario 1962. The family's original surname was Carre'.

Yes, and that brings me to my second J... (drum roll, please)... John le Carré, whose real name is David John Moore Cornwell. (born 19 October 1931).

I love the irony of it. Jim Carrey's family for whatever reasons changed their name from Carre' to Carrey, and John Cornwell chose John le Carre' as his penname. 

And now I bet you're dying to know why I connected the two. Eh! 

I was discussing Carre's work with a friend yesterday, which lead me to search for one of his many novels I have onhand. The one I chose was The Russia House. Between editing my WIP and critiquing a manuscript for a friend, I reread chapter one. 

Wonderful story. But guess what? I randomly picked page 20 and counted 8 sentences beginning with And, 6 adverbs, 2 likely, 1 just, 1 very, and more gerunds than I could count. 

If you're not a fan of either Carre' then you're probably thinking ahha! 

Yes, times have changed and those of us eliminating the many And, But, Likely, Just etc from our manuscript understand why we're doing it. 

You understand, eh?

Have a great day.
ps. Someone asked me why. For me it's because I'm not John le Carre', and until I become John la Carre' I'll be eliminating all those excess words so my meager prose are as tight as they can be. Thanks for asking. 


  1. I don't know anything about le Carre, and I pretty much avoid anything Carrey for the last decade or so, but I still remember how talented he was the first time I saw him. It was in First Bite or First Bitten or something like that. With Lauren Hutton (or--again--something like that). It was a vampire comedy, and Carrey played a high school student and a leading role. He was very funny when he was supposed to be, but in a much more focused and channeled way than what he became famous for.

  2. That's so true, Keith. I thought his work in The Truman Show and The Majestic were particularly good, but some of the later stuff felt forced. I think there are repercussions to being that talented.

  3. Of course! :)

    Any Canuck fever in the house?

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Karen, we're all on pins and needles. The cup is so close. I have to laugh. Even my men say things like, "We have a good chance of winning." As if they were a Vancouver Canuck themselves. LOL.

  5. I've never read a Le Carre but I have seen the movie adaptation of The Russia House which starred Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer.
    Like you I also watched The Dead Pool when it was released and I hadn't even realised Jim Carrey was in it.
    Interesting stuff Joylene, I never would have made a connection between the two J.C.'s.
    Good luck to the Canuck's

  6. Based on the book I just listened to, Our Kind of Traitor, John Le Carre doesn't have editors who fiddle much with his text. I have always been a HUGE fan of Le Carre. His prose is gorgeous, his characters wonderfully complex and real, his dialogue brilliant. Fror me, reading Le Carre is like drinking a really good Bordeaux - rich and satisfying and layered.

  7. Paul, Michelle P. was wonderful in The Russia House. I believed her, and that's because she's such an outstanding actor. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I'm with you, Vicki. I haven't read a le Carre' I didn't love. He's a master. That's why I was so impressed with his very and likely and all those sentences beginning with And. The prose flow smooth and it's so easy to lose yourself in his work.

  9. I'm getting a strong feeling of deja vu as I write this Joylene.
    I used to like the Dirty Harry films but I hadn't realised that Jim Carrey was in The Dead Pool and I didn't realise there was a connection between the two J.C.'s
    I've never read a full Le Carré novel although I did start one of his George Smiley books once way back. I might give his writing another try.
    Have a nice weekend.

  10. Paul, I used to think Clint Eastwood movies were too violent. Yes, I'm aging myself. Today, one out of 10 movies are too much for me to handle. But I like Clint's acting and the way he emerges himself in the role. Same with Jim Carrey. He was so driven in those days. You could tell he wanted to be a star badly.

    As for the connection to their names. I found that by accident. Fascinating that they have that between them.

    Thanks for stopping by, Paul. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  11. I totally loved your J Day. Hadn't a clue and what a fun connection! Your blog is gorgeous...I'm so happy you found me! I'm delighted to follow you back.

  12. Hi Kittie! So nice of you to stop by. Of course the answer to the question is I'm eliminating all those extra words because John le Carre' I ain't.

    Have a terrific weekend, Kittie. Look forward to reading more of your blog.

  13. Hi Joylene ... I've never been a JLC fan .. and I don't like horror movies .. so it would be easy to write Just And But Likely as a bat out of hell I'd connect the two ..

    Good for you - fun post - good learning though .. cheers Hilary

  14. Very interesting!
    And...when did they do away with "J" day??? LOL!

  15. @Hi Hilary. Thanks so much for stopping by. I really enjoyed today's post. You never fail to teach me something.

    @Carol, how are you? Yes, we need more J days, that's for sure. Joy, Jam, Jewellry, Joylene lOL

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