Jim Carrey

How Jim Carrey Responded After Being Told He Only Had 10 Minutes to Live

Love him or hate him, Jim Carrey is undeniably one of the most iconic actors of his time. Staring in movies like Ace Ventura, The Truman Show, Dumb and Dumber, and of course, his hilarious version of the Grinch, his comedic angle has influenced the lives of many viewers over the years. However, a few years ago, he faced a major crisis and was told he only had 10 minutes to live. His response was calm and collected, a possible inspiration to many regarding keeping a positive attitude, even in the face of death.

Jim Carrey Unwinds in Hawaii

Although LA is his primary residence, Jim Carrey spends a great deal of time unwinding from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood at his house in Hawaii. He purchased the home in 2017 and enjoys the serene beaches and his time out of the spotlight. It’s a place that many celebrities go to enjoy some “off” time. It’s been rumored that his neighbors are also well-known celebrities, such as Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.

Read: Jim Carrey Says There’s One Film He Regrets Making

Sharing the Disturbing Events

However, on Jan. 13th, 2018, there was a false missile alert was sent to the people of Hawaii. In 2020, shortly after the worldwide lockdown, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon aired its first episode since quarantine. Jim Carrey was a guest on the show, which was recorded virtually as people were still required to social distance. The actor reflected on the crisis of 2018. He shared with Fallon what he did in those moments he thought would be his last.

He reportedly told Fallon, “I was writing, my assistant Linda called me. She was crying. She said, ‘We have ten minutes left.'” At first, Jim Carrey had no idea what was going on. He continued, “And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And she said, ‘The missiles are coming from North Korea.‘” The actor said that he was on the island with his daughter at the time. They tried to flee but were unable to.

Jim Carrey Chooses Calmness

It was more a wave of calm coming over me and a sense of ‘Oh, that’s strange. Huh, what a funny way for this all to end.’ And that’s the feeling I got,” he said. Jim Carrey then explained he looked out at the ocean and wondered what to do with his final moments. “I just decided to go through a list of gratitude and honest to God I just could not stop thinking of wonderful things that have happened to me and blessings I’ve had,” he said. “It was lovely.” The actor has since written a memoir entitled Memoirs and Misinformation. In it, he recounts what he thought to be his final moments.

Tensions Between the U.S. and North Korea

During that time, there was some tension between the United States and North Korea. Additionally, it was speculated that this would possibly be the start of World War 3. Fear and discomfort were felt throughout the states, most intensely from Hawaii and the west coast. The reason for this widespread fear is both Hawaii and the west coast are closest to the East Asian Country. Furthermore, they are on a direct path for anything that may come from North Korea’s leader.

Officials Respond

Early morning on January 13th, 2018, an emergency alert was sent out to several residents of the beautiful island state, Jim Carrey’s assistant being one of those on the receiving end. The alert was mistakenly sent by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Jim Carrey and several others were led to believe this would be the end for them. The state’s Governor at the time David Y. Ige said, “What happened today was totally unacceptable. Many in our community were deeply affected by this. I am sorry for that pain and confusion that anyone might have experienced.”

It turned out that the alert was sent accidentally, and it occurred during a shift change. According to Richard Rapoza, a spokesperson for the agency, it was human error. He stated, “Someone clicked the wrong thing on the computer.”

Undoubtedly, this was a scary incident for the U.S. and the rest of the world. In contrast, even in the face of death, Jim Carrey showed a strong sense of composure. His calm demeanor could only be portrayed by someone with a deeply rooted understanding of how precious life truly is.

Keep Reading: Jim Carrey has been banned from Russia


  1. When Jim Carrey was told he had 10 minutes to live, this is what he did | CBC radio.” CBC News. July 8, 2020.
  2. “Jim Carrey Recalls Experience with Hawaii’s False Missile Alert: ‘It Was Completely Real to Us'” People. July 17, 2020.