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It was in late September of last year when reports surfaced that the production of Dumb and Dumber To was adding one of the most popular and talented actresses in the world to its cast. With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay filming at the same time and in the same area, it was reported that Jennifer Lawrence would be making an appearance in the new comedy, playing the young version of a former lover of both Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey). When movie-goers go to see the film this weekend, however, they will find that the actress isn’t actually in the movie. So what exactly happened?
Having attended a press day for Dumb and Dumber To this past weekend, I took the opportunity to pose that very question to directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly. As t turns out, that there was some connection between the productions of the comedy sequel and The Hunger Games, as both were filming in Atlanta around the same time, but what ultimately happened was that they weren’t able to make the cameo work. Explained Bobby Farrelly,
" Jennifer was in Atlanta when we were working down there, doing The Hunger Games, and a couple times – because we’re friends with Woody Harrelson – we got together with them. We talked about trying to work it in, but we weren’t able to do it."
While it wasn’t confirmed by the Farrellys, trade reports originally said that Jennifer Lawrence was going to play the young Fraida Feltcher – the young woman Harry and Lloyd have a fight over in the original Dumb and Dumber. In Dumb and Dumber To, the grown-up version of Fraida is played by Kathleen Turner, and presumably Lawrence would have appeared in flashback sequences. Unfortunately, it never came together.
One a side note, those familiar with the Farrelly brothers’ body of work should immediately register why the director siblings would be close with Woody Harrelson. After all, he was their lead actor in their 1996 Dumb and Dumber follow-up, Kingpin - and I imagine that any director is going to have to forge a deep friendship with their actor if they are going to make them appear on screen with a terrible comb-over and a hook for a hand:
Obviously this will be rather disappointing news to those who were looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lawrence in Dumb and Dumber To, but the good news is that the movie does feature some surprise appearances. As Peter Farrelly explained, "There are other cameos in the movie, if you watch the end credits!"
Dumb and Dumber To is in theaters this Friday.