So, what happened to Brendan Fraser? In the early 1990s, the affably hunky actor starred in both quirky comedies like Encino Man and heavy dramas like School Ties. By the late '90s, Fraser turned to the blockbuster with the action-packed adventure The Mummy. It appeared as if Brendan Fraser was set for superstardom, but then a funny thing happened. His projects began flopping.
In the mid-2000s, after disappointing box office returns and critical pans for Journey to the End of the Night and The Last Time, Fraser seemed destined to join the long list of leading men who vanished from the spotlight. But in 2017, his head-turning portrayal of a menacing prison guard in Showtime’s drama The Affair had audiences remembering one of Hollywood's erstwhile leading men.
Fraser has largely remained out of the spotlight for a majority of his career. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few crazy Brendan Fraser stories out there. Learn about his acting debut on one of America’s first reality TV programs, which acclaimed British actor wishes he could be as talented as him, and more Brendan Fraser facts in this list.
He Almost Died While Making 'The Mummy'
Fraser's biggest role is arguably Rick O'Connell, the dashing protagonist of The Mummy - but he nearly choked to death filming the movie. During an early scene in the film, O'Connell is set for execution by hanging. However, the scene went horribly wrong. Fraser said of the experience, "They killed me for 18 seconds."
"I was hanging from the noose standing on a board," Fraser recalled. "Take one, and [the writer-director] said, 'The noose doesn't match the stunt guys.' Can we bring up the tension a little bit, and we'll have it.' They did the take and the camera was on a spin that goes 180 degrees and it shows the prisoners shouting, and then comes down on me at the end of the noose. I figured, 'I'll get oxygen and hold my breath,' and I was up on my toes and something went wrong - and the next thing I knew, I was waking up."
He Claims He Was Groped By A Former HFPA President
Brendan Fraser shared a painful story with GQ in an interview published in February 2018. In 2003, he was invited to a luncheon hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that hosts the Golden Globes. There, Fraser ran into Philip Berk, the HFPA's former president.
According to Fraser, Berk grabbed his backside and groped him between the legs. Berk claimed he merely pinched him as a joke. Shocked, he asked for a formal apology. After the incident, Fraser said he was rarely invited back to the Golden Globes, and wondered if the HFPA edged him out deliberately.
Sir Ian McKellen Wishes He Could Act As Well As Him
You might not think of Brendan Fraser as a serious actor, especially with credits that include Airheads and George of the Jungle. But at least one very serious actor, Sir Ian McKellen, believes in Fraser's skills as a thespian. McKellen has commented that he wished he could one day be as good of an actor as Brendan Fraser. The duo appeared together in the 1998 drama Gods and Monsters.
His Fans Started A Change.org Petition On His Behalf
Fraser made a 2016 appearance on AOL Build Series to discuss his new role in Showtime's drama The Affair. Fans took notice, and the appearance went viral because the actor appeared so sad (he was grieving his mother, who had just died of cancer). In response, they collectively organized a Change.org petition called "Bring Brendan Fraser Back Into Film/Television."
The petition read:
"We are now calling on all networks to please consider Brendan for any upcoming shows/movies that are planned. Brendan is a much loved actor worldwide, people are shocked that he wasn't at least offered a smaller role in the new Mummy movie. Brendan has been in multiple interviews recently and has appeared to be very down and out, and us loyal fans feel like we are obliged to help him in any way possible. Please help us get Brendan back on his feet again, we miss him."
The petition was addressed to Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Reed Hastings in an effort to drum up interest in the actor's talent and hopefully secure him some future acting work.