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BRUCE ALMIGHTY

About The Production (Continued)
Equaling the cinematic magic was the on-screen chemistry that was evolving between Jim Carrey and the rest of the cast. The combination of Carrey's comedic genius and Morgan Freemans vast experience and gravity created an offscreen relationship which echoed the film itself. "Morgan has this lifetime of human experience, with a smile over it all, and that's what he brought to the set," notes Shadyac. "Jim would sometimes ask Morgan about getting to a certain moment in the scene, and Morgan would tell him about his process and experience. And interestingly, Morgan would come to Jim for the comedic insight. It was really amazing to watch these two experts at their crafts come together and bounce off each other."

"Getting to be in the presence of Morgan Freeman was pretty much one of those dreams come true," confesses Jennifer Aniston. "And he was godlike, seeing that striking face in a white suit. He was phenomenal."

So impressive was Freeman in his godly persona that at the end of one shooting day, Tom Shadyac humorously announced that "Morgan will be hearing confessions for a half-hour following wrap.

At the center of the movie was Jim Carrey, a relentlessly creative perfectionist who strives by any means possible to arrive at the epiphanal on-camera moment, whether comedic or dramatic. "Joel Schumacher, who directed Jim in Batman Forever, called him the hardest worker in show business," relates Shadyac. "Everybody who works with Jim knows that. He has an extraordinary ethic, and a constant striving to make things better. I love to see Jim let go and watch things hit him, like a gift. And when it comes, it's a joy to watch.

Aniston, no slouch at comedy herself (with nine seasons of Friends and a Golden Globe and Emmy Award to prove it), found that working with Carrey was "an amazing challenge for me. It's pretty miraculous to watch him find his genius, and see how he gets there."

"I admire Jim's work very much," says co-star Philip Baker Hall (who had previously appeared in The Truman Show, but never had scenes with Carrey in that film), "and working with him in this movie is kind of a dream come true. The way Jim works keeps everything free and open through improvisation, and his love of playing on the set. I think he's a guy who's just happy to come to work. He just exudes and radiates pleasure at being here. And that's very powerful for the rest of us.

"Jim is also very generous as a performer," continues Hall. "He's very eager to get everybody's input, and very willing to include it if he thinks it works in the context of the scene. That's a remarkable quality for an actor in his position."

Hall also enjoyed his work with Jennifer Aniston in the film. "She was great, as unassuming and delightful off camera as she is on camera." Lisa Ann Walter, who plays Grace's acerbic sister Debbie in Bruce Almighty, adds "My girlfriends and I in real life have a saying when we meet somebody who we like. We say ‘You'll love her, she's one of us.' Jennifer is one of us. She gets down and dirty with girlfriend talk, and she's sweet and loving too." As for Jim Carrey, Walter says "It's unfair to be that rich and powerful in the business, and still be such a great guy.

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