Jim Carrey has a message about surviving tough times: “Give up hope.”
The 55-year-old comedian stopped by documentarian and activist Michael Moore‘s Broadway show The Terms of My Surrender on Thursday night for a candid conversation about the current political climate in the wake of president Donald Trump‘s election.
Among the many revelations in the 30-minute chat — which touched on everything from Carrey’s political paintings and sculptures to the DREAMers to the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia to Kathy Griffin‘s recent controversy — was a tender moment in which Carrey said he’s embraced hopelessness in his life a means of coping with difficulties.
“There’s a virtue in hopelessness,” Carrey said. “I’m not kidding. You’re off the hook and you don’t have to worry about what’s coming. ‘Okay, the world freaking ended. That’s great. Now what?'”
“Give up! Surrender to the idea that things are bad and yet still, from 3,000 feet up, we don’t matter,” he continued. “Things are happening and we’re going to happen along with them whether we like it or not. But we don’t matter. … Once you lose yourself, you’re pretty okay. Just get you out of the way.”
While Carrey’s advice was sparked by Moore’s questions about the Trump presidency, the Truman Show star said his philosophy was born out of pain he’s gone through in the past.
“We’re all so afraid of the river of tears,” Carrey said, explaining that he, like many, had avoided his problems in the past with “food and sex and noise and gadgets.”
“The fact is, going down the river of sorrow and suffering is the way to freedom,” he continued. “I’ve gone through it and I’m telling you, you don’t survive it. You don’t come out of it on the other side. You might come out of it with a body, but there’s no you attached to it.”
He added: “It’s tough to be yourself if you don’t have a self.”
Carrey has been open about struggling with depression since his youth. The past few years have been difficult ones: In 2015, his on-and-off girlfriend Cathriona White died by suicide. Since then he’s been involved in legal battles with her family over wrongful death allegations, which he denies.
Carrey told Moore that choosing what part he wants to play in life has helped him move forward.
“Know that no matter what happens, this is not who you are,” Carrey said. “You choose the part you want to play in this life. I want to be a good guy. I want to do good things. I want to make people happy and I want to help out when I can. So you do what you need to do.”
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Elsewhere in his chat with Moore — which came towards the end of the the Oscar-winning director’s impassioned two-and-a-half hour one-man show — Carrey laid into President Trump, claiming the 71-year-old former Celebrity Apprentice host deceived working-class voters into thinking he wasn’t a member of the “elite” group he had so aggressively attacked during his campaign.
“They say that the best trick the devil ever did was convincing people that he didn’t exist, but I think the best trick was convincing 40 percent of this country that this truffle pig who spends half of his presidency gargling caviar behind the wheel of a golf cart isn’t the elite,” Carrey said. “He has a golden f—— apartment. It’s just incredible.”
“How does he do that with a baseball cap?” Carrey asked. “I used to think Clark Kent’s disguise was flimsy. ‘Dude you’re Superman, you’re busting out of the suit, it’s obvious!’ Trump makes that look intricate.”
Carrey also criticized what he called “a war on intelligence and discernment in this country,” saying that people are “made to feel guilty for being smart.”
Carrey said that he hopes both Trump supporters and critics find a way to understand one another moving forward — as “every person is to be cared about and thought of as precious, including the people that don’t agree with us.”
“I don’t like this trend of, ‘If you don’t agree with me, it’s hatred,’ ” Carrey said. “When you don’t agree with someone, you don’t agree with them. It doesn’t mean that it’s hatred. And we have to get back to that and have discourse. We can disagree with each other.”
Michael Moore on Broadway: The Terms of My Surrender is now playing at New York’s Belasco Theatre.