on the Moon,
the much-anticipated film biography of Andy Kaufman, stars Jim Carrey
as the legendary comic. Danny de Vito, one of Kaufman’s Taxi
co-stars, also appears in Man on the Moon and says that
Carrey’s performance is nothing short of remarkable. It is as if Kaufman
were reborn in Carrey.
Is Carrey’s chillingly accurate portrayal of Kaufman
a tribute to his phenomenal talent, or might there be more—shall we
say, cosmic—reasons for the similarities in the two? Amazingly enough,
Kaufman and Carrey share a birthday, January 17. Kaufman, born in 1949,
is thirteen years older than Carrey.
in Capricorn: The Quest for Perfection
Kaufman and Carrey knew early in life that they wanted to be on stage.
At age seven, Kaufman began performing for family and friends, and by
age eight he was being hired to entertain at birthday parties. Carrey,
the youngest of four, was the family clown and reportedly submitted a
resume to the Carol Burnett Show when he was ten.
determination is typical of their common Sun sign, Capricorn. These
folks are the master builders of the zodiac, planning and executing
their grand designs. They are the architects of everything from great
families to great fortunes. They possess the ambition to succeed, the
natural savvy to know how and the indomitable spirit necessary to
the goat that symbolizes Capricorn is a natural climber, both comedians
began their careers in comedy clubs where they honed their craft and
climbed to the top of a very competitive profession.
Capricorns demand excellence from themselves, and these two
performers are no exception. Both are noted for their impeccable
impersonations: Kaufman of fellow Capricorn Elvis Presley, and Carrey of
Jimmy Stewart and Gandhi.
Mercury in Aquarius: The
Mark of Genius
addition to the same Sun sign, Kaufman and Carrey also share a common
placement of Mercury (communication) in Aquarius (inventive and
independent). Both possess a flare for the unconventional and have dared
to be different. After all, who else but Carrey would risk taking the
role of butt-talking Ace Ventura? Who else but Kaufman would read
vacuously from The Great Gatsby until being drowned out by the
ensuing brouhaha of the audience?
Mercury in Aquarius is naturally
witty, talkative and candid, sometimes to a fault. Reportedly, the only
way Carrey’s seventh grade teacher could keep him under control was to
allow him fifteen minutes at the end of each day for improvisation.
Kaufman’s forays into the late-night talk show scene, most notably
with David Letterman, were notoriously outrageous.
The signs Capricorn
and Aquarius are both ruled by the planet Saturn, the great timekeeper,
and it might be this innate sense of timing that helps to produce the
comic genius of a Kaufman or a Carrey. Whether it is Kaufman as Latka
Gravas or Carrey as the Riddler, inner discipline and natural rhythm is
the key to their brilliance.
Sun Quincunx Uranus: Shock
is another astrological trait that Kaufman and Carrey share that helps
to describe their originality and their often confrontational natures:
Sun Quincunx Uranus. The quincunx (150 degrees) aspect is concerned with
adjustments, and the combination of Sun and Uranus in quincunx indicates
a conflict between social acceptance and individuality.
Uranus is in Gemini, is often considered to be more of a performance
artist than a comedian and became infamous when he ventured into
inter-gender mud wrestling. The Sun/Uranus type wants to reach you on
the gut level and strives to challenge your most deeply held beliefs.
Carrey, with Uranus in Leo, grabbed attention as Fire Marshall Bill, the
lone white guy on the TV series In Living Color, who always went up in flames. The sketch was
eventually pulled when critics claimed it encouraged children to play
with fire. Kaufman and Carrey are both the type of performer that you
either love or hate, which is a typical reaction to this astrological
A Moon/Pluto Connection: A
Tie that Binds
the shared traits of their individual horoscopes, there may be one more
astrological reason for Carrey’s ability to successfully transform
himself into Kaufman. Carrey’s
Pluto, the planet associated with transformation and depth, is in the
exact same degree of Virgo as Kaufman’s Moon (our emotions and
reactive personality). This combination gives Carrey the insight into
what made Kaufman tick.
Pluto can also trigger obsessions, and Carrey
reportedly was always deeply “in character” both on and off the set
during the filming of Man on the Moon. He even went so far as to
request separate trailers for “Andy Kaufman” and “Tony Clifton,”
Kaufman’s sleazy alter ego. Years before, Kaufman made similar demands
from the producers of Taxi.
Finally, there’s one more eerie parallel: Carrey injured his neck
while filming a scene with the same professional wrestler who once put
Kaufman in a neck brace!
Casting Genius or Destiny?
fabulous actors vied for the role of Andy Kaufman, including Nicholas
Cage, Kevin Spacey and Edward Norton, but none of them could bring
to the part what Carrey would. To put it simply, he was born for it!