For much of the 90s and the early 2000s, Brenda Fraser was one of Hollywood’s favorite leading men. The Canadian-American actor headlined blockbusters such as The Mummy, George of the Jungle and Bedazzled. Fast forward to the mid-2000s, Brendan Fraser’s career seemed to have taken a hit as his activities rapidly dwindled and he later completely disappeared from the media radar. Recently, The George of the Jungle star has been making a comeback on the small screens. He has also been dishing on the reasons behind his career struggles.
Brendan Fraser’s Career Break
Brendan James Fraser was born on the 3rd of December 1968 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His parents are Canadians and their names are Carol Mary and Peter Fraser. The actor also has three elder brothers namely Kevin, Regan, and Sean. Fraser grew up in several countries including Switzerland and the Netherlands and completed his diploma at Upper Canada College. He thereafter obtained a degree in theater from the Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle.
Brendan Fraser commenced his career in 1991, appearing in the short TV film, My Old Chevy. He later got his breakthrough the very next year in Encino Man. Encino Man is a 1992 comedy in which Fraser played the role of a prehistoric caveman who is frozen in ice. He is later freed in modern-day California and has to learn how to live in the civilized world. Encino Man was a box office success and catapulted the then-24-year-old Fraser to the spotlight.
Why Brendan Fraser has been having Career Struggles
Brenda Fraser initially enjoyed a successful Hollywood run from 1992 to 2008, appearing in movies such as George of the Jungle, The Mummy trilogy, God’s and Monsters, The Quiet American, and Crash. The Canadian-American actor later experienced a career decline; the calls were not coming and the roles that he did get were not the ones that he relished.
The rumor mill went to work overtime. Some suggested that Fraser’s slump was due to his poor career choices. Other more imaginative fellows attributed his decline to a sex scandal and even drug use. Fraser himself has since come out to clarify the several factors that hindered his career. First up was the physical toll that his movies took on him. Fraser spent much of the early part of his career doing roles that required brawns and serious stunts. He did most of his stunts by himself and suffered several injuries. He was consequently in and out of the hospital for seven years and underwent multiple procedures including partial knee replacement, back surgery etc. Fraser compared himself to the tireless horse in George Orwell’s Animal Farm who just kept on working till he dropped dead.
Another factor that contributed to Brendan Fraser’s career struggles was the several personal issues that he went through. The actor not only had to contend with his mom’s death from cancer but also dealt with a tough divorce and the toll it took on his kids. The third catalyst in Brenda Fraser’s career struggles was his loss of a plum role, that of Superman, in the 2006 movie Superman Returns. The actor had high hopes of landing the role but it eventually went to Brandon Routh. The loss shamed Fraser and broke his heart. It also made him feel like a failure as he thought that he somehow did not measure up.
Another cogent reason for Brendan Fraser’s career decline was a sexual assault that he suffered back in 2003. The Mummy star had attended a luncheon held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) at the Beverly Hills Hotel. On his way out, he encountered Phillip Berk, former president of the HFPA. They exchanged a routine handshake during which Berk reached out and grabbed one of Fraser’s ass cheeks. He continued moving his fingers until the actor shook him off.
The whole incident traumatized Fraser and he thought of going public with his accusations. He, however, declined to do so as he did not want the incident to define him. The Mummy star finally worked up the courage to come forward following the MeToo wave that swept through Hollywood in 2018.
Brendan Fraser has been making a commendable career comeback in recent years; with much of his success coming on the small screens. The Canadian-American actor has portrayed well-received roles in TV series such as The Affair, Titans, Doom Patrol, and Trust. Trust is an FX anthology series which recounts the abduction of the heir to the Getty oil fortune, John Paul Getty III, by the Italian mafia. The series featured A-listers such as Donald Sutherland and Hillary Swank while Fraser portrayed the role of James Fletcher Chase. Chase is the chief of security/fixer for the Getty family and often breaks the fourth wall to talk to the viewers.