I'm Pete Farrelly, writer/director of Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, The Three Stooges, and the upcoming Dumb an Dumber To. Ask me anything!
Hi, Pete Farrelly here, hanging out in beautiful Ojai California.
Very happy to be back on Reddit, I did an AMA a year ago, and my wife finally smiled at me, so I'm trying it again.
I've been making movies for twenty years, and still waiting for my first Oscar nomination. By Oscar I mean the Academy Awards. For those people from /r/AdviceAnimals.
My twitter is http://twitter.com/farrellybros
Bill Murray pretty much made up every line of dialogue he said in the film. He would look at the sides, then throw them away and wing it. Every time it was better than what was written. He is a true genius and an excellent kisser. (I saw him making out with a few extras - he really knows what he's doing)
Any dumb and dumber 2 news?
We just finished shooting, don't want to brag, but it could be the best movie of all time. Seriously though, we're thrilled with it and are trying to get the studio to push the release date up.
We can't wait for you to see it!
Movie 43. I think you owe us an explanation.
My friend Charlie Wessler produced it. I think he can explain everything.
His phone number is -- ahhhh, I better not.
Is Jim Carrey as nuts behind the scenes as he is on camera?
Yes and no. He's a very thoughtful guy and not always "on", but when you hang out with him, you laugh your ass off until he goes home. That said, you can sit around and talk about things without him feeling like he has got to be hilarious. He's a very complex guy and someone I truly admire.
I know we are all thinking this….is Dumb and Dumber To going to hold a candle to the original? It's something we are all worried about.
Stop worrying. It's good.
Were any of the classic lines from Dumb and Dumber ad-libbed? soooo many good lines; if they all came from one brain, well that just wouldn't be fair sir.
First of all, they didn't all come from one brain, they came from three. Me, my brother Bobby and the great Jewish writer Bennett Yellin. Jeez, I don't know why I mentioned the Jewish thing but it's out there so what can I do.
One line that was definitely ad libbed is the Big Gulp line. In fact, the two guys he was talking to weren't even extras, they were just hanging out, watching us shoot and I decided to pull them in. They happened to have Big Gulps and Jim just ran with it. True story.
What are your thoughts and feelings on the abomination that is "Dumb and Dumberer"?
As you know, we had nothing to do with the movie, but we have no hard feelings.
The studio wanted to do it, we told them it was a bad idea, but they went ahead with it anyway. I certainly have no ill-will towards the actors, writers and director. They're all just trying to make a living and to tell you the truth, I was rooting for them.
Have you ever entertained the idea of making a cross over between your dumb and dumber characters and there's something about Mary characters?
Not until right now. The studio wanted us to make Mary 2, but we didn't think it made sense. However, if Harry and Lloyd were to try to bang her, I would be open to it. And I'm sure Cameron would, too. Unless she's changed.
Does the cast for Dumb and Dumber To have the same chemistry they did years ago while filming the first?
Exactly and believe it or not, that starts with Jeff Daniels. He gives Jim tons of space to do what he does. I've never seen a more generous, gracious actor than Jeff but he knows how to bring out the best in Jim.
It's a beautiful thing to see.
I can't drive past a highway rest stop without thinking there are scores of gay men having sex in them. Thanks a lot Peter Farrelly!
Well, there actually are, /u/murderousthoughts
HOW'D HE GET THE BEANS ABOVE THE FRANK?
It's not that hard, I can do it. Can't you?
What is your favorite line in Dumb and Dumber? And thanks for directing one of my favorite movies!
"His head fell off?" "Yeah, he was pretty old."
I love it because that set the tone for the entire movie for me.
What do you make of Billy Bob Thornton's comments about actors turning to TV over movies? Has the movie business really changed that much?
This is a good question. There is a combination of things happening right now. First of all, television has gotten great. What used to be a wasteland is now a verdant valley of creativity. (You like that bullshit?)
Television used to suck. Now it's awesome. And you can do way, way, way more than you could ever do in the past, creatively. Have you ever heard of a show called Breaking Bad? If not, you should check it out.
Seriously, that show raised the bar so high and showed all the networks what was possible. In fact, if Vince Gilligan got a Nobel Prize, it would be totally warranted. This is why people want to get into TV, because it's great.
Also, televisions are getting better -- check out the new 4K TVs, they're incredible. As for movies, the studios are moving more and more towards tentpoles and franchises which is cutting out the little guy.
My childhood was watching your movies.
Needless to say, I've basically turned out to be the best person ever.
What was your favorite film? You are the best!
I can't pick a favorite film of mine because it would be like picking a favorite child and my son would be upset.
Most awkward moment on a movie set?
First movie, Dumb and Dumber, I looked at my brother and realized he thought he was directing with me. I should have said something then, but...well, here we are.
Are there any good cameos in Dumber and Dumber to?
We have some of the greatest cameos in film history in Dumb an Dumber To. However, we want to keep them as a surprise. I will say this, some of the names I've seen bandied about are incorrect. But you won't be disappointed.
Who's idea was it to write the first dumb and dumber, and was jim carey/jeff daniels your first selections for the roles? thanks!
This is a really interesting question and one I've always wanted to answer, but for legal reasons, I've had to avoid it.
We originally came up with the idea with a very famous writer-director who was HUGE in the 80s and known for teen comedies. It's silly that I can't say his name, but the turnaround agreement we got from his company prohibited it. I will say this, the movie would have never been made without him and we are deeply appreciative.
Why do you love to have trips in your plot? Is it a nice way to add random funny scenes?
We're not sure why, except we love being on the road. I've driven cross country 21 times, sixteen of them alone. I recommend it for anybody who needs a little clarity in their life. The key is to not bring a cell phone and just spend the four or five days in your own head. It's a lot like a silent retreat. It doesn't happen the first day and sometimes not even the second, but once you've been thinking for thirty or so hours, you kind of get into a state of what I imagine transcendental meditation is, and life becomes very clear and simple.
- How/Why did you pick Kate Upton?
- Do you have any topic which is off limits?
- Are there any joke that ended on film you regret?
Kate Upton was discovered by my late, great nephew, Jesse Farrelly. The kid had an eye for talent and picked her out of the crowd loooong before anyone else did. BTW, she was spectacular to work with. And a hell of a kisser (I saw her making out with her boyfriend - she knows what she's doing)
The original Dumb and Dumber is easily one of my favorite comedies of all time. Followed closely by There's Something About Mary. Thank you and your brother for letting loose such hilarity upon the world!
Here's my question(s): I've always been curious about the level of involvement from your actors in the scriptwriting process because many lines and moments in your films seem tailor-made for the specific actors that play them out. In the case of Dumb and Dumber and its upcoming sequel, what role did Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels play in the scriptwriting process? At what point do you bring them aboard and get their input and output? How malleable is the script when they get involved? Have you ever radically changed something in the script to suit the actor? If I'm asking too many questions, feel free to pick and choose as you like!
Thanks for the laughs!
Thanks for the kind words, Max. And yes, you are asking a lot of questions. Luckily, a few of them are good.
Usually we don't collaborate much with the actors in the writing process. It's only when we're in pre-production we'll do a table read and find out what's working and what's not working for them. We're also wide open to suggestions that they may have.
However, most actors suggestions are minimal with the exception of a Jim Carrey or a Bill Murray or a Ben Stiller, who definitely like to get involved in the writing process. Of course, this is always after we've done several drafts ourselves. We are always pleased to get notes from actors because by that point, we're so close to it we may not be seeing things that they see.
Were you surprised with how easily Jim and Jeff oozed into their roles after a staggering twenty years?!
A little. Those two guys have both aged extremely well, which was nice. They don't look much different from the original movie, which was just dumb luck.
And I think you meant 'eased' not 'oozed'. Although there were a couple days that they oozed.
Most sequels suck. Please do a good job on D and D 2. Thank you.
Seriously, we didn't want to make a Dumb an Dumber To that felt like Dumb and Dumber Light, so we took a particularly long time to write the script, again with the Jewish writer Bennett Yellin -- why do I keep mentioning the Jew part, I've gotta stop this -- and Mike Cerrone. We also collaborated with Sean Anders and John Morris, who are phenomenal writers and great kissers. I saw them making out with each other - they really know what they're doing.
After that, we tabled the script with some of the Family Guy writers, working on specific jokes. My point is, coy_and_vance, we're not going to let you down.
You're probably gone, but if you ever come back just to read these comments, please know that we fans truly appreciate the time and effort you put into your films.
Thanks, Keith. I actually love doing this and would do it every day if I thought people gave a shit.
What would you say is the funniest scene/joke you and your brother have written that came organically from the writing process? As opposed to any sort of on-set improvisation.
I would have to say it's the hair gel joke, starting with Chris Elliott convincing him not to go out with a loaded gun all the way up to Cameron Diaz having a crispy hair-do. I remember walking around with that for about nine months wondering if we can get it past the MPAA.
Do you laugh when you watch your own movies?
If I haven't seen them for many years, I have to admit I do.
At least I don't wear my own movie jackets around town.
Hi Pete! I was a friend of Jesse's, we were roommates for a little while. He was a really cool kid that always made me laugh and it broke my heart when I found out that he passed away. I hope that you, Bobby and the rest of the family continue to heal. I just wanted to say what a great guy he was, even though troubled, he brought a lot of joy into my life during the short time we knew one another. And that I'm sorry that such shitty things happen to good people and good families.
There's Something About Mary is one of the funniest films I've ever seen, to this day. But when Ted is in prison, there is a tag on the wall that says "Go Gamecocks". Since I saw it for the first time in a theater in Columbia, SC, that little jab completely brought the house down (for those who don't remember, the whole jail scene was a hillbilly backwoods nightmare and was probably the most accurate portrayal of my home state I've ever seen done in film). The joke seemed like it was very intentional - where did that come from, did one of you guys have a bad experience in dixieland sometime in the past?
Dear autopornbot, glad you were friends with Jesse. He really was one of the sweetest guys ever. Thanks for the kind words.
As for the South Carolina jab, one time when I was in high school I was driving down to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break and I got pulled over by a South Carolina statie at 3 in the morning. He smelled stuff in the car, recognized that my license had been doctored to say that I was older than I was, and had me going an 85 in a 60 mph zone. Basically, I was screwed, and to make a long story short, he took all the money I had one me (150 dollars) and I had to hit every happy hour for the next two weeks to get free food.
I guess that's where that came from.
I love your movies! My question is how much of a say do you have in the cast? Did you know you wanted Jim Carrey in Dumb And Dumber before he was cast?
In the original Dumb and Dumber, we would have taken anybody that the studio approved. Literally, every actor in town had passed. And some out of town.
However, once Jim got attached, we fought hard for Jeff Daniels. The studio didn't want him because they said he wasn't a "comedic actor". This made no sense to us. We believe a great actor can do anything. Except be governor of California.
Have you ever had a strange interaction with a fan? How'd it turn out?
Not really, we're kind of under the radar. Unless we're wearing our Peter and Bobby Farrelly shirts.
Can we expect to see the dog van the sequel?
Well I don't want to give anything away but....yes. And I'll just leave it at that.
First off, I am a huge fan. I must have watch Dumb and Dumber 100 times as a kid and I love all of your other movies just as much. Question: What is your favorite comedy and what inspired you to make some of the greatest comedy films to date?
My favorite comedies are: Animal House, Airplane, Sideways, Blazing Saddles, Some Like It Hot, Groundhog Day, The Jerk, and Borat.
Thank you for everything! How does one go about being an extra in a movie?? I just would love to see my face on a screen lol.
Although I don't know you and haven't seen you before, I would start with plastic surgery. This is what all stars do.
What was the hardest scene to film in Dumb and Dumber and/or Dumb To?
Because we don't do a lot of action, our films are generally not that hard to film. For instance, we shot the new Dumb an Dumber To in 45 days which is how I like it.
That said, the hardest scene to film in Dumb and Dumber was the scene on the ski lift. Here's why: it was the first day that we shot and we're at the top of Copper Mountain in Colorado, which is 12,500 feet. The day before I had been at sea level in LA and so to spend an entire day at that altitude, made me nauseated, dizzy and fearing for my life.
As you can tell, I am a huge pussy.
If there's any genre of film you could excel in as much as you have in comedy, which would you choose and why?
I don't know what genre you'd call it but I'm constantly impressed and amazed when I see Spike Jonze movies. The fact that he got snubbed today by the academy for his movie "Her" blows my mind. He's the most original guy out there. Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Her are as original as one can get in my books.
The fact that he's also connected to Bad Grandpa and comes from the Johnny Knoxville school of comedy is a huge bonus.
Any regrets / things you would do differently in you film if you could go back? Kick his ass seabass is also one of my favorite things to say by the way, so thanks.
Not really, except maybe not be involved in Movie 43. Does that mean I think I did everything perfectly? No. Not even close. But, I married the right woman and I try to stay focused on the good stuff.
do you have any directorial/screenwriting advice?
How did you feel when your first movie came out/was approved?
Our first movie was Dumb and Dumber, and all I felt was relief. I can't say I felt extreme joy at that point because as each weekend approached, there was a fear that it would fall off. We'd been at it for about nine years at that point and we were getting tired of explaining to our friends and family what we were doing out in LA. So that success was more of a relief than anything. I know --- dumb. I should've been partying my ass off everyday, enjoying the ride but at that time I hadn't learned to live in the moment.
Hey Pete, thanks for doin this! Big fan of all your movies. I just wanted to ask a different question from everyone else.
As a fellow Providence College Alum (loved your SI article about Ernie D), assess the season- where do you see the team going? How do you rank Cooley against Friar coaches you have seen in past? Thanks!
I love Cooley, and hope he stays put for 20 years. We're having a hard time getting traction but once we do, I think the team can really roll. Really anxious to see what happens against Creighton. They really dusted Georgetown.
Hey! Will Todd Rundgren return to do the soundtrack for D&DT?
Love Todd. We're huge, huge Todd fans, but we like to mix things up. This score will be done by the Australian band, Empire of the Sun.
Thank for doing this Pete! I love your movies! What was your best memory while filming Dumb and Dumber?
This is the truth, as corny as it sounds, but I've never had one moment on a movie set that I took for granted. No matter how many movies we make, I still can't believe we're making movies, and I enjoy every single second.
But watching Jim and Jeff together on the first day of Dumb an Dumber To brought tears to my eyes.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in writing a good script.
Not settling for just "good". A good script will get lots of raves from your friends but the key is to not be satisfied with that and to take it to the next level.
Your script should be fucking spectacular and you shouldn't accept anything less.
To be honest, we don't disagree much during filming, if ever. We do have our disagreements in the writing process and in the editing process.
Bobby is almost always wrong.
So when can we expect a teaser trailer for Dumb and Dumber To?
I would think in the next six to eight weeks.
What's your favorite sandwich?
When I was very poor, I once had nothing in my house except frozen lima beans, a piece of cheese, two pieces of bread and mayonnaise. Thus was invented the lima bean sandwich. This is how you do it. Cook the lima beans (obviously), then place them on a piece of bread (obviously) and melt cheese all over them. This keep the lima beans from falling out of the sandwich. Put mayo on the other slice of bread, cut in half, and go nuts.
How much did the explosion cost when Lloyd is driving Mary to the airport?
"I hate goodbyeees!!"
Not a lot. That was one of the cheesiest explosions in film history. If you look carefully, you can see my brother Bobby back there holding an M80.
How do start your day?
I sleep in till ten or so. Go to the gym. Eat food. Drink my yerba mate. And by noon or so, I'm ready to work.
Movies aside. What are some of your favorite pass times?
Well my kids are always on Reddit and I never leave them alone for a second, so I guess I'm always on Reddit, except for when they go on r/AdviceAnimals.
I like golf but I hardly get to play. My brother is a pathological hockey player, still plays two or three times a week. I like drinking. A lot. Or maybe it just seems that way because I'm in the middle of no-booze January. Only 368 hours left. Whew.
This sequel can hold it's head high for being completely passionate and not a monetary release. will the boys have grown more or have they become more childish their age?
I would say that they are exactly the same.
No development whatsoever.
Our hope is that after you see the second one, you will start getting the two movies confused because they really are the exact same guys.
What european films do you like?
My two favorites are My Life As A Dog and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.
How much of any of your films has been based on personal experience(s)?
I would say bits and pieces. I take lots of notes -- if I hear a good line or come up with one, or see something funny -- then when I'm writing a script, I go through my notes looking for good material to dress things up with.
However, the bigger ideas are usually things we just made up out of whole cloth.
Pete, ever date a RI girl? If yes, would you recommend?
Yes, Paula Picard, and yes I would totally recommend her except she's in her fifties now and married.
Would you spell Farrelly phonetically?
Farrelly rhymes with Sara Lee. I always like to say, "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Farrelly...except Peter Travers and the Academy."
are you excited about the oscar noms? what is your favorite of this year?
I'm stunned that Her didn't get way more nominations. I found Wolf of Wall Street incredibly entertaining. I liked all the nominated movies-- I was just hoping that the Lone Ranger would finally get its due.
Love your work, thanks for making me laugh when times are tough.
Nothing makes me happier than to hear Dumb and Dumber or any of our movies cheered someone up during a difficult time. In fact, that's the main reason you do shit like this - to make people happy.
And the money.
What is your favorite meal that you've ever had?
I'm being serious here, my favorite meal is tripe and aglio-olio, preferably from Angelo's on Federal Hill in Providence.
Why Three Stooges?
I love The Three Stooges. Loved making that movie. I still think those three performances were as good as we've had in any of our movies.
HI Love Dumb and Dumber what was so charming about the film is that it wasn't a modern day version of a comedy. there were hardly any to no "F-STRIKES" if it was rude kit was subtle it was just funny without need for titillation or childishness and this is a film with HARRY AND LLOYD!!! will the next one be more of the same or will it be more like "Hey Harry do you fucking remember when you got your fucking tongue stuck to that fucking lamppost?!" think you looking forward to the sequel! :~)
No, that's not these guys. In fact, after you see the second one, you will actually learn more about the first one and what really makes these guys tick.
Hey Peter Farrelly, thank you for taking time out of your day for this AMA, you're one of my favourite directors so I hope you get the chance to answer my questions.
-How did it feel working with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber ?
-How's Dumb and Dumber to coming along ? Any favourite memories so far behind the scenes ?
-Is working with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels different after the 20 year gap from the original Dumb and Dumber ?
Thank you again for taking time out of your day to give this opportunity to the users of Reddit, I'd like to commend you on your amazing directing and writing talents and on behalf of this AMA I wish you luck on Dumb and Dumber to and your future projects.
Thank you MONKSFTW. You seem like a very nice person. I'll answer your questions in order.
- Not really.
Do you feel that it takes a smart person to play a dumb comedic role?
Eg; Mr Bean, Monty Python group, all graduated from Oxford.
And you've said in the AMA here that Jim Carrey can be a serious dude off camera. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1vefbm/im_pete_farrelly_writerdirector_of_dumb_and/cerf7cn
I think they need to be smart but not necessarily book smart.
How much of Bill Murray's dialogue was improv in Kingpin? How much did his hair improv?
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