LAS VEGAS -- Jim Carrey has delivered more than his share of great performances. But this undercover act wasn't one of them.
While receiving press in a Las Vegas hotel room, he was wearing large sunglasses and a sparking gold patchwork blazer.
"This is my Vegas camouflage," he joked. "If I walk around town in this (jacket) no one can see me. It's fantastic. It's the way I blend in in this town. Isn't it nice? I mugged Gustav Klimt," Carrey said, referring to the Austrian painter whose early 20th-century works featured gold galore.
That's about as funny as Carrey would get on this day in Sin City promoting "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," opening Friday. The Vegas-set comedy is about a burned-out old-school magician (Steve Carell) threatened by a newcomer (Carrey) who'll literally risk his life to wow audiences and attain fame.
"This is the guy with the Christ complex," Carrey explained. "This is the guy who looks at other people like he knows everything and they know nothing, and their problems amuse him."
It is perhaps the darkest character that Carrey has ever delivered in an out-and-out comedy.
"I could never be the type of person who thinks, 'Now this works. So, I'm just going to do this forever,'" Carrey said.
It's just the latest transformation for Carrey, who last year had a solo exhibition of his paintings and now has a children's book on the way -- something Carrey said he did in part for his grandson, born to Carrey's daughter Erin in February 2010.
"Sometimes when you go to a movie, that can be that. But when you read your kid a story, that is just a little slice of heaven," he said.
Carrey's also making music, having teamed with indie-rock band The Eels for his new single, "Cold Dead Hand," which has an anti-gun theme. "Charlton Heston would not like it," Carrey commented.
"You know, I'm always risking it and pushing it," Carrey said. "I've got nowhere to go. I have no other options. I don't have a trade."