Jim Carrey admits it was "Mayhem" filming with penguins.

The 49-year-old actor stars with The Birds in new movie 'Mr. Popper's Penguins' and admits their unpredictability in front of the cameras was chaotic - but he was happy to encourage them to misbehave.

He said: "I got bit a lot. I got nipped here and there. It was a good thing.

"I loved that dinner scene which was supposed to be them sitting in their chairs just pecking fish off the plates. It was funny because they had the camera in my face and then it would dolly back. We didn't really know what I was going to do with it.

"And they had the wranglers with broom poles separating and holding back the penguins like a horse race or something while their heads were trying to get at the fish. And then they'd go, 'Okay, Jim. Ready? Go!'

"It should be called distracting because it's mayhem basically. I just had to stay in it and have fun with it. When stuff like that happens, inside I'm going 'Yes, yes! Go wild!' So that was a good memory."

In order to accommodate the penguins, temperatures on set were very cold and the actor said it left him regularly fighting off illnesses.

He added: "Basically, the set was so cold that I was fighting pneumonia the entire time. I don't know about anybody else, but I was like OxyContin or whatever they call it. I'm Canadian so I have a little background with that cold weather."