The "Ace Ventura" actor has blown up

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated May 13, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

Since Ace Ventura: Pet Detective began its $69 million box office run in February, Jim Carrey has become red-hot. His asking price has soared to $7 million (from the reported $350,000 he got for Ace), his agent has been flooded with projects for the putty-faced star, and he’s even received a mash note from Tom and Roseanne Arnold, who wrote to say, ”We love (Ace)—Rosie’s seen it three times.” Meanwhile, Ace‘s success still baffles industry honchos. MCA motion picture group chairman Tom Pollock went so far as to order his production team to see it.

While insiders remain stumped by Carrey’s overnight stardom, others fully believe he’s no nutball-of-the-month. Explains one studio exec, ”You can’t say he has Cary Grant charisma or shocking good looks. But the kids love him, and the studios see it as comedy for the next generation.” So what does Carrey do next? The Mask—about an average Joe who finds a mask that turns him into a superhero—was completed before Ace catapulted Carrey’s career. Opening July 29, it’s now expected to break records. Though he’s returning to TV’s In Living Color, his movie slate is jam-packed. Among the offerings:

Dumb and Dumber New Line paid $7 million for him to star in this newfangled road picture. ”It’s like a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby road adventure,” says costar Jeff Daniels, who sheepishly admits he hasn’t seen Ace but says, ”My kids have!”

Carrey is also expected to write a sequel to Ace (for 1995), which prompted one insider to note, ”He can be the next Steve Martin or Robin Williams if he doesn’t crack up.”