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Jim Carrey Relishes The Fun Of Returning To Dr. Robotnik In Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - Exclusive Interview

Jim Carrey has been entertaining us for almost 30 years, and in that time, he's solidified himself as one of the funniest actors working in Hollywood. Carrey vaulted to widespread attention with the uproarious comedies "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "The Mask," and "Dumb and Dumber." While his zany, unhinged brand of humor endeared him to plenty of fans, he soon revealed his talent went even deeper with "The Truman Show," "Man on the Moon," and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." No matter what he's done, his fans have followed him, always eager to see his latest indelible performance.

It's no surprise that he's made a splash as the star of "Sonic the Hedgehog" and its sequel "Sonic the Hedgehog 2." As Dr. Robotnik, a genius who relates more to machines than people, Carrey is as madcap as he is menacing. At the end of the first movie, the character found himself stuck on a planet comprised of nothing but mushrooms, with no discernible way back to Earth. After too much time alone, when we meet him again in "Sonic 2," all of his worst traits have become even more extreme. This makes Dr. Robotnik's eventual face-off with Sonic (Ben Schwartz), as well as his team-up with the debuting Knuckles (Idris Elba), especially exciting.

Carrey sat down to speak with Looper about his history of playing both very smart and very dumb characters, entertaining both kids and their parents in the "Sonic" films, and the fun of his character acquiring infinite power in "Sonic 2."

Playing the counterpoint to Sonic

In your career, you've played some very sweet, but dumb characters, like in "Ace Ventura" and "Dumb and Dumber." In "Sonic," you're playing an evil genius. Do you have a preference, smart and evil or...?

I think smart and completely dumb are essential parts of my character in life and they assert themselves individually from time to time. Sometimes, you do things in your life and you think, "Well, maybe I'm a pretty smart animal," and then there are other times you go, "No, I haven't learned a thing." [Laughs] It's a great thing to be able to play the spectrum, and to be thought of that way is wonderful.

I had to dumb it down a little bit to play a guy with a 300 IQ, but ... This character's so much fun, and he's the contrast to Sonic. The important thing about this movie is that Sonic is that preteen innocence and lack of skepticism that enjoys everything that's happening in the zeitgeist going past. He goes, "Oh, I want to play with that, and I want to play with that." He's not afraid of a damn thing.

Through this movie, families, parents get to look and remind themselves of what it was like to be that way. The kids, they get to see this wonderful, innocent energy winning against this scary monster. I hope they get laughs. I'm in the movie to give parents something to do as well as make the kids laugh. I try to have my stuff mean more than one thing every once in a while. [Laughs]

Dr. Robotnik dialed up to 11

Your character starts the movie having been stranded on a mushroom planet for quite a while now. How has that changed him?

Aren't we all stranded on a mushroom planet?

That's our problem.

It seems to be in the way things are going. He obviously didn't find the right mushrooms. Otherwise, he wouldn't have come back, but he did come back. He still wasn't right.

He came back looking for even more power, and he gets that [Chaos] Emerald, which will be cool for the people who played the video game. They'll get to see that thing come to life, and then his megalomania goes to a whole other level. He's Evil 3.0. He's living on the quantum field. Now, anything's possible, and that was really fun for me to play with.

I would call the director in the middle of the night and say, "I want to speak like a synthesizer tomorrow," because if I had that kind of power and I had no peers, I would be forced to try to make fun with myself, with the elements and whatever it is. It was really a fun thing to play with.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 premieres exclusively in theaters tomorrow, April 8.

This interview has been edited for clarity.