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How Jeff Daniels Almost Lost Out On Dumb And Dumber

The Farrelly brothers' classic film "Dumb and Dumber" holds a special place in Jeff Daniels' heart, as being one of the actor's first opportunities to do a major comedy. But what a lot of people don't know is just how close Daniels came to not getting the part.

The "Arachnophobia" and "Gettysburg" star took on numerous movie and television roles before eventually throwing himself at the Harry Dunne character from "Dumb and Dumber." Daniels went on to appear in a slew of other projects later on in his career, like 2005's "The Squid and the Whale" and the HBO political drama series "The Newsroom." But what would have happened if the longtime actor never got the part of Harry?

Speaking in a recent interview with GQ (posted on YouTube), Daniels described how that's nearly what happened. "I knew that [Jim Carrey], Pete and Bobby Farrelly wanted me," Daniels said. However, New Line Cinema had other plans.

Jeff Daniels had to audition on set

Not long after "Dumb and Dumber" star Jeff Daniels arrived on set to play Harry Dunne he started noticing how the studio was still auditioning him for the part, he told GQ. "We all went to Breckenridge, Colorado to start shooting," Daniels said, "and the first day, first morning, we shot the scooter [scene] — me and Jim driving down the mountain pass and I say, 'I gotta pee' and he says 'Just go, man.' That was the first morning ... Jim didn't work the rest of the week." Daniels filmed numerous scenes without co-star Jim Carrey before realizing what was happening.

"We went to the lodge, we did the chairlift ... with the tongue on the pole," said Daniels. "Jim's not working — and I may be in 'Dumb and Dumber' but I'm not stupid — the audition is still going on. I come to find out they're going to assemble these scenes featuring me and we're all somewhere going to look at them over the weekend and somebody is on call, somebody who is a comedian is waiting to hear whether he's going to go do the movie or not." 

Daniels thankfully got the call to come back to start filming again with Carrey. "Jim walks into the makeup trailer, pats me on the shoulder, leans in and says, 'Just keep doing what you're doing, they love ya,'" Daniels remembered. "Jim Carrey's a friend to this day. He stood up for me and he's one of the great friends I got in this business."