Jeff Daniels Reveals His Agents Didn't Want Him to Make Dumb and Dumber with Jim Carrey
"It was a rare time when I didn't take their advice," the star of Broadway's To Kill a Mockingbird tells PEOPLE
Jeff Daniels is celebrated for his dramatic performances as a Western outlaw in Godless, a counter-terrorism expert in The Looming Tower, a brazen news anchor in The Newsroom, and currently as lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway. But sometimes, Daniels just wants a laugh.
So in 2013, after winning his first Emmy for his starring role on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama, the actor jumped right into filming something a little, well, dumber.
“I won the Emmy for the first season of Newsroom on Sunday night and was on the set of Dumb and Dumber To in Georgia on Tuesday morning [for the] first day of shooting,” Daniels, 64, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
“It was a rare time when I didn’t take their advice,” Daniels says. “But their position was, ‘We are trying to turn you into a serious, dramatic actor. You can do a comedy, but you can’t do a dumb comedy that’s aimed at 12-year-old boys with the guy who just did Ace Ventura.’ ”
RELATED VIDEO: Mary Badham Visits To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway
For more on Jeff Daniels, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
But the three-time Tony nominee went for the part because he wanted to flex his comedy muscles.
“I had done some indies that didn’t make money because I loved the scripts and I knew I could do more and I knew I could do comedy,” he says. “I figured if I could do Dumb and Dumber and stay with [Carrey], all the dramas I was doing and then have done subsequently, that’s range.”
The film would go on to become a huge hit for the actor, grossing over $247 million worldwide.
To Kill a Mockingbird is now playing on Broadway.
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