Batman Forever is a strange film to discuss in 2019, but back in the 90s it was a huge moneymaker. Joel Schumacher recently had an all-encompassing interview with Vulture to talk about a bunch of topics, including how two of his stars struggled to get along. It turns out that Tommy Lee Jones was pretty mean to Jim Carrey while they were filming Batman Forever.
Of course, Jones played Two-Face and Carrey had a very strange turn as The Riddler in the movie. Batman Forever is noted for having a lot of star power on set, and it seems having all of those personalities in the room can be a challenging thing when everybody is struggling to get along. Schumacher described the tension at play between the two actors during the interview. It seems like for his part, Carrey tried to extend an olive branch, but the older actor wasn't having it.
Funny enough, the director hired Jones twice but the second time proved to be more of a headache. Schumacher said, "He was fabulous on The Client. But he was not kind to Jim Carrey when we were making Batman Forever. And I didn't say Val [Kilmer] was difficult to work with on Batman Forever. I said he was psychotic."
It seems that Val Kilmer was a bit of a handful to work with as well. However, in the interview, the director also mentioned that Kilmer was always his choice for Batman. Apparently, there were bigger fish to fry as getting the best of each scene mattered to his oldest star. He didn't like Carrey's performance and let the younger actor know about it.
"Tommy is, and I say this with great respect, a scene-stealer. Well, you can't steal the scene from Jim Carrey. It's impossible. And, I think it irked Tommy," Schumacher explained.
Back in 2017, Carrey shared details about a hostile moment between the two shortly before filming their big, climactic scene together. The Riddler actor approached Jones in a restaurant, and physically irate Jones told him, "I hate you. I really don't like you … I cannot sanction your buffoonery."
Schumacher concluded, "He did not act towards Jim the way an Oscar winner with a star on Hollywood Boulevard, being the oldest member of the cast, and having such a distinguished career and the accolades to go with it, should have acted towards Jim."
Those are pretty harsh words, but these sort of things happen on the set of movies all the time. Maybe not with this kind of capital invested, but all the same personalities can be a handful sometimes. Even though the movie didn't review very well, it was a good earner for the studio. More proof that even with trouble on the set, sometimes films can press on to meet some of their goals. But, good luck getting those two in a room with each other again anytime soon.