Jeff Daniels Was Almost Taken off of ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ Was Nervous Toilet Scene Would End His Career

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema / Bane / MovieStillsDB

Dumb and Dumber is a blockbuster comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels that dominated the box office when it was released to audiences, earning a whopping $247 million worldwide. For all of its success, there were moments in filming when Daniels had doubts about his role, and his agents felt the same way. Ultimately, though, the end product was more hilarious than anyone could have imagined.

His agents wanted to pull him from the film

(Photo Credit: New Line Cinema / Zayne / MovieStillsDB)

The film was released in 1994, and at that time, Daniels’ agents were striving to get him roles to help him become the “serious actor” they wanted him to be. Because of this, taking the role of Harry Dunne in Dumb and Dumber didn’t quite fit their expectations. “I had agents, who weren’t wrong, telling me, ‘You’re a serious actor. This is not the direction you need to be going. We’re going to stop this and get you off this movie,'” Daniels explained.

He had his reasons for wanting to take on the project, and so he agreed to the part despite their resistance. “… I wanted to shake it up with a comedy. And I wanted to work with Jim Carrey,” he said. However, there was one point in filming where he thought his agents may have been right in their opinion. During one sequence in the film, Harry accidentally drinks a laxative-spiked tea, resulting in him having an explosive experience on the toilet. This scene was the trickiest.

Jim Carrey encouraged him to give his all

(Photo Credit: New Line Cinema / Henry1992 / MovieStillsDB)

For Daniels, he knew it was going to be a make-it-or-break-it scene for him. “It’s one thing to read the toilet scene, but then the day comes, and we’re actually going to do the toilet scene,” Daniels said. “I told Jim [Carrey], ‘This is either the beginning of my career or the end of it.’” However, he received some serious support from his co-star.

“Jim, who is fearless, told me, ‘It’s going to be great. You’ve just got to go all the way with it.'” And so he did. Daniels gave that scene everything he had, and it certainly shows in the end results. “That was a couple hours of porcelain gymnastics,” Daniels explained about filming the scene. “And that close-up when they pop in tight on my red face. I had been doing it so long, I had almost passed out.”

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He received high praise from an unexpected person

(Photo Credit: Warner Brothers / Getty Images)

The whole film was well-received, but Daniels got some serious praise from someone you may not expect. At a celebrity golf tournament, Daniels explained, he was pulled aside by Clint Eastwood, who shared with him some encouraging words. “Clint says to me, ‘I just saw Dumb and Dumber and you know, the toilet scene? That happened to me,'” he said. “And then he tells a story about dating this woman that he really wanted to impress, but the shellfish hit him the wrong way from lunch.”

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Since the film’s release, the toilet scene has become one of the most iconic and memorable in the world of comedic cinema. Daniels himself agrees. “I did my job, beyond my job,” he said. “In terms of comedic scenes, that toilet scene will probably outlive us. It will be funny 40 years from now.”

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