These days Eric Christian Olsen has made a name for himself starring on “NCIS: Los Angeles” as Marty Deeks. But early in his career, he portrayed a younger version of an iconic Jim Carrey character.
That’s right Olsen once portrayed Lloyd Christmas himself. The actor portrayed the iconic “Dumb and Dumber” character early in his career. “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd” released in 2003 as a prequel to the 1994 comedy.
The film took viewers back to the characters’ high school days and when they first met. As a result, Olsen took over from Carrey for the role, portraying a younger version of the character. Overall, the film became panned by critics, who accused it of failing to live up to the heights of the original. But overall, they praised Olsen’s performance.
Eric Christian Olsen Portrayed Jim Carrey’s Character
Of course, Eric Christian Olsen and Lloyd Christmas look nothing alike. Olsen has blonde curly hair and resembles a surfer in his everyday life. But as Lloyd, he donned a brown bowl cut and lost his tan. He also lost a lot of weight for the role.
“I walked in there [to audition], and they were like, ‘Who are you and why are you here?'” Olsen told IGN in 2003. “I had just come off another job – I was doing a show on FOX called 24. I was in the best shape of my life, I was surfing, like, every day and working out and [I had] long, blond hair. I went back, like, four or five times, and [director] Troy [Miller] believed in me… When [Derek and I] read together, the chemistry was there, the energy was there. I dropped 13 pounds in two weeks, dyed my hair brown.”
Olsen was a big fan of the original film. But he decided he didn’t just want to copy Jim Carrey’s performance. Instead, he added his own flair to the role. While ultimately the film didn’t work out, the actor moved on to bigger and better things.
“I think the key to this one is, you study the original film. You watch it, like, 30 times, you pick up the mannerisms and the nuances and the elements and then take that…and throw it all away,” Olsen continued. “Just be that character. Find the reverse arc to that and begin evolution of those characters. And I’m such a huge fan – and I know [Derek] is too – of the first film and what those guys did with the first film, which is one of the best comedies of the past ten years, if not the best buddy comedy of the past ten years. And [I wanted to] do justice to that, you know?”