(CBS) Jim Carrey is a chameleon at his craft - we've seen him as the kooky Fire Marshal Bill, The Mask, Ace Ventura, a love-struck moron in "Dumb and Dumber," an unemployed businessman-turned thief in "Dick and Jane" and more recently, Ewan McGregor's prison lover in "I Love You, Philip Morris."
Now, the Golden Globe winner will get up close and personal with host James Lipton on Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" on Monday, Jan. 10 after a 17-year-long invitation!
Carrey is making his rounds. He's also bringing the laughs this weekend when he hosts "Saturday Night Live" after 15 years.
Lipton, who kicked off his show in 1994, was a fan of Carrey's hilarious work in the comedy show "In Living Color," which catapulted Carrey's acting career.
"His was one of the first invitations I ever sent out," Lipton told Entertainment Weekly. "But Jim's extremely shy. It was a marathon getting him on. It wasn't that he didn't want to do it - he just didn't have the courage."
With a little enticing from actor Bradley Cooper, who appeared on "Inside the Actors Studio," Carrey mustered up the courage to do the interview.
Lipton was curious to know how the light-hearted yet multi-dimensional Carrey was able to get into character and out of his comfort zone in his latest film, "I Love You, Phillip Morris," where he plays Ewan McGregor's love interest.
"Amazing, again, another actor who, when he signed on to do the film I went, 'Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I can, I can feel good about the authenticity of this relationship,'" Carrey said.
In a scene in the movie, the two men meet fatefully in the prison library.
So how did the actors approach the scene?
"I think it wasn't so much of a spoken decision, as just a decision as two people who respect each other," he explained. "To turn that, to make that the basis of love. It's really based on respect and can I find a person to love in there? Absolutely."
According to Lipton, Carrey and McGregor wanted to research the gay aspect of the film, so they hit up some gay hot spots.
"We hit Miami and like gay clubs!" Carrey said.
McGregor took it a step further to get into character.
"We went into this one club, and Ewan walked in there and he went, 'You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna get my earring - I'm gonna get my ear pierced cause I saw a piercing place and tattoo place down the road. I'm gonna go do that' and I remember just being like, 'Yeah! Method! Alright!'" Carrey added. "He came back like 15 minutes later and said, 'What do ya think?!,' like that and the whole bar turned to him and went, 'It's the wrong side!' He got the wrong side pierced and had to go back and get it [the other side] pierced.
Lipton's "Inside the Actors Studio" interview with Carrey will air on Bravo on Monday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
What inspired Carrey's Ace Ventura character? Check out a clip from Lipton's interview: