Tommy Lee Jones Told This Co-Star He "Hated" Him to His Face
"He said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.’”
Not all co-workers get along, but whatever the disagreement is usually doesn't lead to one person telling the other that they hate them in a restaurant. Unfortunately for Jim Carrey, he says that's exactly what happened when he worked with Tommy Lee Jones on Batman Forever. In the 1995 movie, Carrey and Jones both played villains—Riddler and Two-Face, respectively—while Val Kilmer played Batman. Behind the scenes, though, their issues weren't with the caped crusader, but with each other.
Jones hasn't spoken out about any tensions with Carrey, but Carrey has, and the movie's director, Joel Schumacher, has also commented on the situation. Read on to see what they had to say about this on-set super-villain feud.
Carrey says Jones told him directly that he hated him.
During a 2017 appearance on Norm Macdonald Live, Carrey talked about working with Jones. He said that Jones' dislike of him was made very clear when Carrey approached the actor at a restaurant where they were both dining.
"The maitre d' said, 'Oh, I hear you're working with Tommy Lee Jones. He's over in the corner having dinner,'" Carrey told host Norm Macdonald. "I went over and I said, 'Hey Tommy, how are you doing?' and the blood just drained from his face … And he started shaking and he got up—he must have been in mid-kill-me fantasy or something like that."
Carrey continued, "And he went to hug me and he said, 'I hate you. I really don't like you.' And I said, 'Gee, man, what's the problem?' and I pulled up a chair, which probably wasn't smart. And he said, 'I cannot sanction your buffoonery.'"
Carrey thinks he knows why Jones didn't care for him.
Carrey and Macdonald each put out a couple of ideas as to why Jones would hate his co-star so much. When Macdonald told Carrey, "You were the star, though," Carrey responded with a laugh, "I was the star and that was the problem."
Then, Macdonald suggested, "He's a famous guy, he used to be the center of attention. You walk into a room, he's not the center of attention." Carrey responded, "He might have been uncomfortable doing that work, too. That's not really his style of stuff."
The interaction left a big impression on Carrey.
Carrey previously told the story of the run-in with Jones during a 2014 interview with Howard Stern.
"I went up to say hi and the blood drained from his face, in such a way that I realized that I had become the face of his pain or something," Carrey said (via Yahoo!).
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Schumacher also talked about the clash.
In a 2020 interview with Vulture, Schumacher talked about working with Jones on two films, The Client and Batman Forever. "He was fabulous on The Client. But he was not kind to Jim Carrey when we were making Batman Forever," the director said. "Tommy is, and I say this with great respect, a scene stealer. Well, you can't steal the scene from Jim Carrey. It's impossible. And, I think it irked Tommy."
Schumacher continued, "[Jones] did not act towards Jim the way an Oscar winner with a star on Hollywood Boulevard, being the oldest member of the cast, and having such a distinguished career and the accolades to go with it, should have acted towards Jim."
Carrey isn't holding a grudge.
While they might not have gotten along, Carrey still had kind words for Jones as an actor. "Phenomenal actor, though. I still love him," he told Macdonald.
And in his interview with Stern, Carrey said, "I was really looking forward to working with Tommy, because he's a fantastic actor, and he still is to me. I love him, I mean he's amazing, but he was a little crusty."