By Lauren Huff
May 17, 2019 at 07:10 PM EDT
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Despite the advice of people around him, Jeff Daniels decided to tackle one half of the comedic duo in Dumb and Dumber for one reason: costar Jim Carrey.

“Look who I get to react to. Jim is a comedic genius,” the actor recently told Lola Ogunnaike on PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing, adding that it was actually Carrey who wanted him for the role.

“There were comedians that wanted it, but he wanted an actor that would make him listen because he knew it was ping-pong, it was back and forth,” Daniels explained. “So I just let him lead, and [Daniels’ character] Harry Dunne was like on a half-second delay to whatever [Carrey’s character] Lloyd would do.”

Although Daniels up to that point had been known for more dramatic fare, he said Dumb and Dumber — which ended up being one of 1994’s top-grossing films — allowed him to “establish range.”

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“You know, I was doing a lot of dramas and heading towards an Oscars trail, whatever that is, and I just said, ‘I’m not doing what I was five years ago; I’m not interested.’ I am going to audition for that Dumb and Dumber thing,” he recalled, adding that multiple people close to him advised him against auditioning for the film.

His response? “But if I can do Gettysburg or Speed and I can do Dumb and Dumber, for a guy who lives in Michigan, there are jobs in between there. So that was the gamble, and then Dumb and Dumber ended up being what it was.”

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