Judd Apatow & Matthew Broderick Swap ‘Cable Guy’ War Stories, Talk Jim Carrey’s “Double-Edged Sword” Success In A $20M Pay Day – Tribeca

On the bill for the penultimate evening of the Tribeca Festival was Matthew Broderick and Judd Apatow and it was easy to assume that they’d go down Cable Guy memory lane.

The movie, which was plotted as another big Jim Carrey tentpole back in 1996 post Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber and The Mask, saw the comedy star get paid a then astounding $20M for the Columbia Pictures movie. The Ben Stiller directed pic was a memorable one for Apatow, who produced it, as it’s where he met his wife Leslie Mann. The Cable Guy failed stateside, a stone in Carrey’s then box office tentpole streak only grossing $60M stateside. Broderick played the straight comedy guy in the movie to Carrey’s acerbic cable technician. Carrey was drawn to what was a hot script back in the ’90s sparking a bidding war for $750K; the project much darker and weirder from his gross-out comedy fare.

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“I remember the time thinking this is like Matthew’s first roles where he played an adult,” Apatow ribbed Broderick given his resume for playing younger dude parts.

But more so, Broderick remembered all the headlines about Carrey getting a big check for the movie. “I got a Swiss cheese sandwich,” joked the actor about his pay day.

Apatow shared, “Jim went so hard at you every day. I remember one day, he was so in your face, every single take, you said to me in between takes, ‘I don’t know how to react anymore! I’ve run out of reactions to this!'”

Said Broderick about Carrey’s $20M payday, “Nice as it is to make all that, it put a lot of pressure on him in a way. It hadn’t been that long since he was relatively unknown and suddenly he’s the highest paid, you gotta be the greatest genius ever, every minute, so I was sympathetic to the pressure he must have put on himself.”

“It’s a double-edged sword when you have that kind of success, I was sympathetic to that,” added Broderick.

“I don’t know many people who had gotten that big, in that way, that fast,” said Apatow.

Other unforgettable moments for Apatow was how a torturous night shoot –an Ichabod Crane scene involving Carrey’s cable guy chasing Broderick down– wound up with a lot of mud in both actors’ eyes. Apatow remembered Broderick getting a torn cornea, but Broderick recalled Carrey going to the hospital. The sequence didn’t make the final cut.

Then there was the time when there was a flub-up in the schedule during at day at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Broderick wound up waiting around on set all day in his trailer. Apatow remembered checking on the actor after 14 hours: “You were so mad at me, you were like ‘don’t do that again’. I always remember that. I never did it to anyone else again. You were the person who taught me to pay attention to wasting an actor’s time. So in my head, every time someone is not shooting for six hours, I think of the look in your eye that day and how scary it was. You don’t want Bueller made at you, he’ll cut you!”

Apatow shared a ten-minute cut of the film with then legendary manager Bernie Brillstein, who didn’t find Carrey’s lisped character funny.

“I said, ‘Waddya think? Isn’t he great? and he’s like ‘Nooo!’ Is he going to talk like that the whole movie?'” Apatow remembers Brillstein asking.

“I said it’s like the movie Neighbors with Belushi and Aykroyd, then Bernie goes ‘I know! I produced that movie! It was terrible! It didn’t work!'”

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