Brendan Fraser, a long-time fixture in Hollywood and a fan favorite for his comedic and action roles, has returned to the silver screen.
In response to the overwhelmingly positive reception he received for his performance in the new Darren Aronofsky film The Whale, the actor broke down in tears during the film’s premiere in Venice and received a six-minute standing ovation.
His return to Hollywood has been praised by fans and online commentators, who see him as a legitimate Oscar contender.
At the height of his career, when he was one of the highest-paid actors in the world thanks to his roles in box office hits like The Mummy, George of the Jungle, and Bedazzled, Fraser suddenly vanished from the film industry.
But what really did happen to the actor during his most popular period with fans? Many accounts detail the difficulties Fraser encountered, which led him to keep his pain to himself. He believes, however, that the Hollywood blacklisting was due to the fact that he was the victim of an alleged sexual assault, as reported by Evening Standard.
In The Mummy Movies, He Was Injured Several Times
Fraser, who played the tough but handsome Rick O’Connell in the films, suffered multiple serious injuries while on set. In 1999, while filming the opening hanging scene for The Mummy, Fraser nearly choked to death, as reported by The Things. According to Rachel Weisz, one of his co-stars, he once stopped breathing and required CPR.
The above incident was merely the first of many. People magazine reports that he has undergone numerous surgeries, including a laminectomy (a back procedure to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves),
a partial knee replacement, additional back surgeries to bolt compressed spinal pads together, a vocal cord repair, and other procedures, all as a result of injuries sustained while filming ancient Egyptian-themed films.
“By the time I did the third Mummy picture in China [in 2008], I was put together with tape and ice,” the actor recalled to GQ. Fraser said he was in and out of the hospital for seven years, which may have prevented him from being available for other acting roles.
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About Sexual Harassment, He Spoke Out
Fraser’s sexual harassment claims against a Hollywood heavy hitter were the final straw that broke the camel’s back for his acting career. According to GQ magazine, in 2018, Fraser claimed that in 2003, then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Philip Berk sexually assaulted him at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
According to Fraser, the incident left him feeling nauseous and eventually led to a downward spiral of depression. Berk denied the allegations and claimed he had only pinched Fraser’s behind as a joke.
However, Fraser claimed that the ordeal left him reclusive and he stopped engaging with the public. According to GQ, he claimed that he no longer received casting calls and that his phone had stopped ringing.
He also said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) rarely invited him to their annual Golden Globes ceremony.
What Happened To Brendan Fraser?
The ‘Sad Brendan Fraser’ meme originated after a 2016 interview Fraser gave, but the actor had good reason to appear distant on camera. Shortly before the interview, the actor lost his mother. Fraser has stated that the death of his wife, the mother of his three children, and their subsequent divorce in 2009 are two of the main reasons for his decision to stop acting.
In 2018, Fraser claimed that the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sexually assaulted her during a 2003 luncheon in Beverly Hills. He has opened up about the incident and the subsequent depression and withdrawal from the film industry that followed. Fraser believed blacklisting was to blame for his lack of work in Hollywood, though he never spoke publicly about it.
Fraser has discussed the psychological toll of doing his own stunts for several of his most recognizable roles. The physical demands of his roles in action films have forced him to undergo multiple operations, including partial knee replacement, laminectomy twice, and vocal cord surgery. According to Fraser, the first seven years of the century were spent making numerous trips to medical facilities.
When he brings another DC Comics character to life in 2022, it will be his most prominent film role in a while. In the upcoming Batgirl movie, Fraser will play the villainous Gotham supervillain Firefly.
His Professional Success Was Hampered By Personal Tragedy As Well
AOL scored Fraser’s first interview in quite some time when he was cast in Showtime’s The Affair in 2016. His glum expression was noted, and a “sad Brendan Fraser” meme was born. It’s possible that the clip wouldn’t have been so universally humorous had viewers been made aware of what was going on behind the scenes.
Fraser’s mother passed away from cancer days before he was scheduled to appear in front of the AOL audience. “I buried my mom,” Fraser confessed to GQ. I believe I was in a state of mourning, but I had no idea what that entailed.
Overall, the star’s life had been difficult. Continuing, he said, “I moved and I got a divorce.” Babies were born. So, they’re not only growing up but they’ve already been born. I was undergoing experiences that transform me in ways for which I can’t have possibly been prepared except at that moment.
Fraser and Afton Smith, his wife of ten years, divorced in 2008. The New York suburb where he presently resides is relatively close to Smith’s Connecticut residence (where she has custody of their three sons).
His recent years have been full of TV appearances. Currently, Fraser can be seen in DC Comics’ Doom Patrol as Cliff Steele, aka Robotman.
He got the role of Firefly in the 2022 DC film Batgirl. In The Whale, a Darren Aronofsky-directed psychological drama, he also stars as the lead. Our favorite action hero is finally making his way back to the big screen, where he belongs.
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