By Tyler Aquilina
July 17, 2020 at 02:11 PM EDT

Jim Carrey doesn't have to ponder that age-old existential question — "What would you do if you knew you only had a few minutes to live?" — because he's already lived it.

While on The Tonight Show on Thursday to promote his new book Memoirs and Misinformation, the actor recalled his experience being in Hawaii during the 2018 false missile alert, in which the state's residents were erroneously warned of an oncoming ballistic missile.

"I was there, I was writing. My assistant Linda called me, she was crying, she said, 'We have 10 minutes left,'" Carrey recalled. "I said, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'The missiles are coming from North Korea.' It was completely real to us." Carrey added that he tried to get off the island with his daughter, but was unable to do so.

"We had to say goodbye," he continued. "I sat on the lanai and looked out at the ocean, and at that point, I started going, 'OK, what can I do with this last moment of time?' And I just decided to go through a list of gratitudes. And honest to God, I could not stop thinking of wonderful things that have happened to me and blessings that I've had. It was lovely, and I got to a point of grace."

"What did you do when you found out that it was a fake missile [alert]?" host Jimmy Fallon asked. "Then I got pissed off, and heads rolled!" Carrey jokingly yelled in response.

This conversation came about, incidentally, because Carrey said the cover of Memoirs and Misinformation is a shot of his face when he was told that he had only 10 minutes left to live. In a separate interview with Howard Stern, he explained that his assistant "was clutching the phone so tightly that she accidentally took a screenshot" during their call.

"I thought, 'That's just the perfect misinformation. Look what I went through because of misinformation,'" Carrey said.

You can watch the full Tonight Show clip above.

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