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Jeff Daniels was paid a shockingly low amount to star in Dumb and Dumber

Jeff Daniels was paid a shockingly low amount to star in Dumb and Dumber

The studio didn't want him in the film

Dumb and Dumber is not only a 90s classic in the comedy realm, but an absolute testament to Jim Carrey's ability to make people laugh.

But his character, the lovesick limo driver Lloyd Christmas, would have been nothing if it weren't for his nitwit sidekick Harry Dunne, portrayed by Jeff Daniels.

Though any fan of the Peter and Bobby Farrelly directed flick would agree they make for the perfect duo, it turns out the studio didn't agree at the time – so much so that they paid Daniels a shockingly low amount for his role.

As many of you will already know, Dumb and Dumber kicks off with Lloyd falling hopelessly, profoundly in love with Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), a client he drives to the airport.

When she 'accidentally' leaves a briefcase behind, Carrey's character embarks on a cross-country trip to Aspen to return it alongside his best bud Harry.

Little do the pair realise that the briefcase was, in fact, left as a ransom payment to the mob, causing a whole lot of antics along the way.

Daniels' on-screen chemistry with Carrey is undeniable, but at the time the studio didn't want him starring in the 1994 film as they wanted a fellow comedian on set.

As such, he was offered just $50,000 for the role – a huge contrast to Carrey's $7 million.

He also got some pushback from his team, telling Lola Ogunnaike on a previous episode of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing: "You know, I was doing a lot of dramas and heading towards an Oscars trail, whatever that is, and I just said, 'I’m not doing what I was five years ago; I’m not interested'.

"I am going to audition for that Dumb and Dumber thing."

We're so glad Jeff Daniels was kept in the film.
New Line Cinema

Thankfully the Ace Ventura star was on his side, with Daniels adding: "There were comedians that wanted it, but he wanted an actor that would make him listen because he knew it was ping-pong, it was back and forth.

"So I just let him lead, and Harry Dunne was like on a half-second delay to whatever Lloyd would do."

The Farrellys also spoke about the situation in a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter where they confirmed the studio 'didn't want Jeff for the part'.

"Jeff Daniels was not the obvious choice because he hadn’t done any, you know, out and out comedies before that," said Bobby.

"He was always comedic in his roles. But we were huge fans of his and Pete in particular loved him in."

The director went on to explain that the lowball offer aimed to drive him away from the project.

"We fought for him, and then when Jim read with him, they read together, Jim realized that he was pushing, Jeff was pushing him in places that no other actors were pushing him...

Could you imagine anyone else doing this scene?
New Line Cinema

"Jeff gets up there and he does not know what he’s going to do until he sees what you’re doing and then he plays off that. He’s a genius at doing that. And Jim understood. He was elevating him so he fought for him.

"And then the studio didn’t want him, they said, 'Please, anyone but him. Get a comedic actor'. So they offered him, if I recall, 50 grand, which was, you know, Jim’s getting seven mil, they offered him 50 figuring he’ll say, 'No, I’m not taking that', but he took it."

And it's safe to say that was the right decision. As well as becoming one of the most successful comedies of the decade, Dumb and Dumber grew into a trilogy with the release of Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd and Dumb and Dumber To.

Featured Image Credit: Entertainment Pictures/AJ Pics/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Film and TV, Jim Carrey, Money, Celebrity