How The Grinch Stole Christmas Actually Won An Oscar For This

The year was 2000 when How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey debuted to lackluster reviews. Roger Ebert wrote at the time about the star's performance that he "works as hard as an actor has ever worked in a movie, to small avail." He also opined, "I think a lot of children are going to look at this movie with perplexity and distaste. It's just not much fun."

Meanwhile, The New York Times called the film, "a depressing reminder that when Hollywood decides to lavish more than $100 million on a beloved children's story, that money has to go somewhere. The movie is so clogged with kooky gadgetry and special effects and glitter and goo that watching it feels like being gridlocked at Toys 'R' Us during the Christmas rush." Ouch.

But it turns out the movie went on to win an Oscar, and not in a category you might expect.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas' Oscar was very well deserved

You see, although Screen Crush calls it a bad movie, the site can't help but note How the Grinch Stole Christmas won on Oscar for best makeup — Carrey's look was incredible by anyone's standards and even the Academy's in this case.

Unfortunately the makeup was so elaborate, it turned out to be quite uncomfortable for the actor, with the yellow contact lenses being his least favorite according to Screenrant. The runner up for the least enjoyable feature of his costuming? That would be dyed yak hair, which made up most of the Grinch suit. Worst of all perhaps is that Carrey had to don the look for a total of 92 days, which begs the question: Why didn't he win an Oscar for tolerance?

But alas it was head makeup director on the film, Kazuhiro Tsuji who took home a statue — who apparently really deserved his achievement due to the extreme difficulty of working with the movie's lead actor.

Jim Carrey put the makeup director on How the Grinch Stole Christmas over the edge

Carrey was reportedly difficult to work with, maybe because all that time spent in the makeup chair made him crabby. As Tsuji told Vulture about the star, "Once we were on set, he was really mean to everybody and at the beginning of the production they couldn't finish. After two weeks we only could finish three days' worth of shooting schedule, because suddenly he would just disappear."

The Oscar winner added an account of a day that turned out to be the final straw, with Carrey saying about his makeup, "'This color is different from what you did yesterday,'" and Tsuji recalling, "I was using the same color I used yesterday. He says, 'Fix it.' And okay, you know, I 'fixed' it. Every day was like that." The makeup artist actually left the set at one point and even went on to seek therapy due to the conditions on the set.