Back in 1998, Jim Carrey beat the likes of Jack Nicholson, Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy to star in The Grinch.

The comedian, who’d shot to A-list fame in the 1990s with Ace Ventura and The Mask, even bagged himself a then-record $20 million salary to play the Dr Seuss role.

Although given what he had to endure on set, it sounds like he certainly earned the massive payday.

Carrey had to be caked in layers of prosthetic makeup to play the furry green villain every day on The Grinch, which has shot up the Netflix film chart this Christmas.

Speaking previously on The Graham Norton Show, the comedy legend confessed that the eight and half hours of makeup application “was like being buried alive every day. I went back to my trailer and put my leg through the wall and I told [director] Ron Howard I couldn’t do the movie.”

That was when producer Brian Grazer came up with the radical idea of hiring the CIA to help the suffering actor. Carrey continued: “[He decided to] hire a gentleman who was trained to teach CIA operatives how to endure torture. And so that’s how I got through The Grinch! It was quite hilarious.”

The CIA man told him: “Eat everything you see and if you’re freaking out and you start to spiral downward turn the television on, change your pattern. Have someone you know come and smack you in the head, punch yourself in the leg or smoke, smoke as much as you possibly can.” Yet even trying to have a cigarette break was a “horrifying” ordeal for the star.

Carrey used a giant cigarette holder so the yak hair on his Grinch prosthetics wouldn’t catch fire. However, the green-dyed fur would turn inward and be particularly uncomfortable, with the actor declaring: “It was horrifying! It was horrifying!” In the end, he had to keep reminding himself: “It’s for the kids, it’s for the kids, it’s for the kids, it’s for the kids.”

As for how many times he had to put the makeup on, the actor revealed he endured the prosthetics 100 times. Yet there was a certain band’s music that got him through it all. Carry added: “Y’know what got me through it? The Bee Gees.”