Brendan Fraser was a promising Hollywood performer at the start of the 2000s. We all recall George of the Jungle, the handsome savage from the comedy, or the courageous Richard O’Connell from The Mummy. But then he vanished from the large screen. Users on social media are now asking what happened to this once-popular actor.
We at Bright Side chose to tell you the true story of Brendan Fraser’s life and acting career.
Brendan James Fraser was born in the United States. His mother worked as a salesperson, and his father served in the Canadian Foreign Service. Fraser relocated to Hollywood after graduating from Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts in 1990. He worked various jobs before becoming an actor, including juggling in a retail store.
The first film in which Fraser appeared was California Man. It follows the exploits of a Neanderthal in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Because many reviewers called this comedy silly, it received a low rating. Later, he had a few more starring parts in lesser-known films such as School Ties, Airheads, and The Passion of Darkly Noon.
Fraser, 28, rose to prominence in 1997 with the publication of the film George of the Jungle. The tale of a man raised by apes captivated audiences and made $174 million worldwide.
“I was a walking steak,” Fraser said of his previous appearance, for which he had to work out frequently and adhere to a stringent diet.
The performer himself performed all of the stunts. “I remember being hoisted 60 feet in the air on a crane and having to swing down at 30 miles per hour for a 300-foot swoop,” Fraser remembered. He was eventually hurt.
People may also recall Fraser from the film Blast from the Past, in which he portrayed a man who was born and raised in a nuclear fallout shelter before venturing outside for the first time at the age of 35. Despite mixed reviews from reviewers, many people enjoyed the film. Despite this, reviewers frequently praised Fraser’s acting ability. For example, following the release of Gods and Monsters, one critic stated, “Unrecognized but simply outstanding.”
Brendan Fraser got his big break in 1999 when Stephen Sommers cast him in the adventure picture The Mummy. Initially, the role of Rick O’Connell was offered to Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Ben Affleck. Still, after watching the comedy George of the Jungle, the film director and producer determined that Brendan Fraser was the best fit for the part. The film was shot in Morocco’s Sahara Desert, where the team dealt with snakes, sandstorms, and the scorching sun.
Consequently, the film became a commercial success and is now regarded as one of the major blockbusters of the 1990s. Critics also praised Brendan Fraser’s character for being ahead of his time: a man obsessed with proving how uber-masculine he was, yet he was just an ordinary man with real feelings, and he didn’t see his love interest, played by Rachel Weisz, as a prize.
Following The Mummy, a few other films featuring Fraser were released. The comedy Dudley Do-Right, about a kind mountain ranger, got negative reviews from critics and was a box office flop.
Bedazzled (2000), a comedy about a man who makes a bargain with the devil to win the heart of the woman he loves, got mixed reviews from critics despite financial success.
Monkeybone, a fantasy comedy, was released in 2001 and was a box office flop, making only $7 million globally on a $75 million budget.
The Mummy Returns debuted in 2001 to mixed reviews from reviewers but was a commercial success. Following that, a few other films were released that did not reach the budget. Among them was Looney Tunes: Back in Action, in which Fraser appeared alongside animated characters, while The Air I Breathe got an overwhelmingly negative reaction from critics.
“I felt like the horse from Animal Farm,” the actor subsequently explained.
During this time, an unfortunate event occurred: Fraser disagreed with an influential person, and his Hollywood career began to decline. According to the actor, he became depressed and decided to take a break from the film business.
Fraser’s family situation was also difficult. In the summer of 1993, he met his future wife, actress Afton Smith, at a barbecue at Winona Ryder’s home. During their nine-year marriage, they married in 1998 and had three boys, Griffin, Leland, and Holden. Griffin, the couple’s eldest boy, was diagnosed with autism in an interview.
Brendan Fraser and Afton chose to divorce in 2007. Their sons are raised by their mother, but the actor devotes all of his spare time to them. He keeps a horse called Pecas in his Bedford home to help his son, Griffin, feel better.
At the close of the 2000s, it appeared that the actor’s career might be resurrected. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor began shooting. The plot centered around Brendan Fraser’s character, his wife, and their adult son. Fraser received a few severe injuries as a result of doing all of the stunts himself. He would have to place ice packs under his clothes to alleviate his pain. He spent seven years in institutions for procedures such as a partial knee replacement, vocal cord repair, and lumbar laminectomy. It all contributed to his weight increase.
Despite the film’s moderate financial success, critics and viewers did not praise it as highly as they did the first two segments. Another actress substituted Rachel Weisz, the setting was changed from Egypt to China, and the atmosphere was completely different, so viewers got something unexpected. Consequently, the fourth film was canceled, and production on a reboot starring Tom Cruise began.
Another hit starring Brendan Fraser experienced a similar fate. Journey to the Center of the Earth grossed over $200 million globally, and the producers planned a sequel. However, the film director was preoccupied with another project, and Fraser said he only wished to work with him. As a consequence, Dwayne Johnson was cast in the lead role.
Since then, Fraser has only appeared in minor TV shows and low-budget films, never in a leading part.
When Fraser was almost forgotten, film director Danny Boyle spotted him on a TV show and invited him to participate in his project, Trust. The performer was then approached by Steven Soderbergh to appear in his thriller, No Sudden Move.
Brendan Fraser, 52, is currently planning to appear in a few upcoming premieres, including the Western crime thriller Killers of the Flower Moon. “I’ll collaborate with Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro.” “I’m a little concerned about that,” Fraser said in a recent TikTok interview. When the interviewer mentioned how many people backed him, he paused and became visibly shy.
The actor’s current look, which reveals that he has gained significant weight, has sparked numerous discussions on social media. “After George of the Jungle, Brendan Fraser let himself go,” a Twitter user noted. This is because Darren Aronofsky’s film The Whale, in which Fraser plays the lead, is presently in production. According to the screenplay, his character is a 600-pound man attempting to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter.
Brendan Fraser’s fans, who have loved him since childhood, now support him on social media and wish him the best in his work.
Do you believe Brendan Fraser can regain his previous popularity? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.