Jim Carrey believed he would die by missile bombings after a false alert went out in Hawaii in 2018

By Alexia Fernández
February 06, 2020 10:56 AM

Jim Carrey‘s near-death experience is one for the books.

In a PEOPLE exclusive clip of an upcoming episode of The Graham Norton Show, Carrey spoke about his upcoming book, Memoirs and Misinformation, which features a photo of the actor with an interesting story behind it.

“There was a missile alert in Hawaii a little while back and I was in Hawaii. My assistant Linda, who lives on the other side of the island called me crying,” Carrey recalled in the clip. “She called me crying and said, ‘We have 10 minutes left, chief.’ And, ‘What should we do? The missiles are going to land.'”

The actor, 58, continued, “And that picture on the front of my book is an accidental screen grab that she did because she’s was so tense. That’s my face when I believed I had 10 minutes left to live.”

In January 2018, Hawaiians were advised by phone notifications to “seek immediate shelter” from an incoming ballistic missile that caused mass panic.

Though the message said it was “an extreme alert” and “not a drill,” followup messages 38 minutes later explained it was a mistake. “State Warning Point has issued a Missile Alert in ERROR! There is NO threat to the State of Hawaii!” the Honolulu police department wrote on their website.

Carrey recalled how he felt during the incident, saying, “The feeling was, ‘Wow, that’s kinda weird. What a funny way for it to end.’ And I went into this time of the last 10 minutes. Then I sat down and this overwhelming sense of peace came over me and I started going over a list of gratitude for my life and everything that had happened.”

The Kidding star said he closed his eyes when he thought he had “about two minutes left to go” and then received information that the missile alert wasn’t real.

Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey
| Credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty

“It was a unique place to be, to be able to sit back and go ok. There’s actually a state of calm,” he said, before explaining he was “angry” when he realized it had been a mistake.

“I was pissed. I was like, who do I have to call? They said something like we pushed the wrong button,” Carrey said. “I was like, come on it’s not that much of a family business on the island, is it? I would hope there’s a process.”

In 2018, Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii later explained on Twitter, “It was a false alarm based on human error” adding, “there is nothing more important to Hawaii than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”

Memoirs and Misinformation is out in bookstores on May 5.

New episodes of BBCA’s The Graham Norton Show air Fridays at 11/10c.