A very short reflection on the phenotypic plasticity of Jim Carrey.
I am a big movie fan. And since a couple of years I am collecting DVDs from several actors and directors. Yesterday a certain evolutionary proces, called phenotypic plasticity, reminded me of one of my all time favorite actors, Jim Carrey. Why him? Let's first look at the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution and everything will become clear...
Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of an organism to change its phenotype in response to changes in the environment. The adaptive advantage of this process seems clear. Organisms that can react to (sudden) changes in their environment or can survive in different environments, have a huge advantage over organisms that can't.
How thus this relate to the Canadian actor Jim Carrey? I think he is the pinnacle of phenotypic plasticity in the actor's world. First, his face can be moulded into unimaginable shapes (see video). And second, he has produced successful films in different genres. He started as a comedy actor (obviously), but also starred in dramatic movies (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and thrillers (The Number 23). Hence, my link between Jim Carrey and phenotypic plasticity.