When you think of Brendan Fraser, the first image that probably comes to mind is of him playing the jungle hunk, Tarzan, in the cult classic comedy, George of the Jungle. Despite his amazing looks, there was something inherently gentle about Fraser, and even his swashbuckling role in the franchise, The Mummy, showed the audience this. After years of absence, he is back and his fans are loving every bit of him onscreen.
Bright Side couldn’t be more excited to have Brendan Fraser back in the limelight, and we’ll share the reasons why we and his fans love him so much.
1. Brendan Fraser bounced back after losing roles.
Most celebrities do not talk about the lowest point in their lives when they were a little down and out. But Brendan Fraser is not like most celebrities. He lost his Rick O’Connell Mummy franchise role to Tom Cruise in 2017 but stayed upbeat.
He did speak about the one role that broke his heart, in an interview with GQ magazine, back in 2018. Fraser’s name was floated for the new Superman movie in the early 2000s, supposedly written by JJ Abrams and to be directed by Brett Ratner.
It never got made, instead in 2006’s Superman Returns, Brandon Routh cinched the role, with Bryan Singer’s direction. Not only did this break Fraser’s heart, but it also made him feel ashamed.
Said the 53-year-old, “You feel like: I didn’t measure up. Oh, I failed. And the truth is, you didn’t. That’s erroneous. That’s wrong. It’s not true. You didn’t fail.”
2. He was touched to hear that fans were rooting for him.
Fraser has had a few tough years, and not all have been kind to him. Numerous on-set injuries and other issues made him step back from the limelight, but he’s back today.
3. He rescued a horse because it looked like it needed help.
Fraser also rescued a horse, named Pecas, who he met on the set of a 2015 History Channel series called Texas Rising. They were filming in Mexico when Fraser felt he and the animal connected and had a kindred moment. Said the actor, “Without doing too much—anthropomorphizing… he looked like he needed help. Like: Get me out of here, man.”
So Fraser rescued it from all the bullying Mustangs and bought it to his property, an hour away from Manhattan. Pecas is happy, and he and Fraser often go on rides together. Plus, Fraser’s sons have also bonded with the animal.
4. He is an avid photographer, for charity.
In 2003, fresh off the success of The Mummy, Fraser set up a photography exhibition. He combined his love for photography with the exotic locales he traveled to for shoots and set up a behind-the-scenes exhibit, at the entryway of the 24th Street Theater. It was a small, community-based theater that offered teacher training, theater classes, and free after-school workshops for kids.
He donated the proceeds of the exhibition to the theater itself.
5. Fraser is an accomplished archer but does not hunt.
Brendan Fraser has found a great stress buster in archery. During an interview, when questions got a little too personal for Fraser to handle, he invited the interviewer to let some arrows fly.
He might have honed his skill as an archer when playing a Texas Ranger in the series Texas Rising because, as the interview noted, he hit the bullseye. Every time.
6. He’s a loving father to 3 boys.
Brendan Fraser got married to actress Afton Smith in 1998, and the 2 share 3 sons. Their oldest, Griffin Arthur, was born in 2002, and then came Holden Fletcher and Leland Francis in 2004 and 2006. The couple divorced in 2007, and while the kids live with their mother, Fraser says they are at his place all the time.
Brendan Fraser is also one proud dad as he reveals, “Griffin’s rated on the autism spectrum. He is a curative to everyone who meets him. He just makes them put things into sharper relief and maybe find a way to have a little bit more compassion. They don’t put themselves first so much around him.”
He refers to his other 2 boys, Holden and Leland, as being “a spokesperson and an enforcer.”
7. He went all out for his roles, even getting hurt in the process.
Fraser has changed over the years. His once firm and muscled body carries more weight, and his much-talked-about locks have also thinned out. From the very beginning, Fraser gave every role his all, getting numerous injuries in the process that took a toll on his health to the point that Fraser has been in and out of hospitals for 7 years.
He’s had a laminectomy, 2 lumbar replacements, a partial knee replacement, more work on his back, and even had his vocal cords repaired.
8. Brendan Fraser has been lauded for his acting skills.
Fraser has won no Academy Awards or Golden Globes. And, yet, Sir Ian McKellen, who worked with him in Gods and Monsters, was in awe of his acting. He compared Fraser to Marilyn Monroe, another underappreciated actress of her time.
Fraser also appeared in the 2018 TV series Trust with Donald Sutherland. Danny Boyle, the director of the series, says: “I always notice with comic actors, when they can do that stuff really well, you don’t notice this great integrity in the way they’re doing it.”
9. He’s making a comeback, in a movie titled The Whale.
At a recent red carpet event, Brendan Fraser’s weight gain left everyone surprised and, some, even concerned for his health. The actor is teaming up with director Darren Aronofsky for The Whale, based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter. He plays a very overweight, middle-aged man named Charlie trying to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter
The role involves prosthetics and a costume, but knowing Fraser’s penchant for giving every role his all, the sudden weight gain may just be a preparation for the role.
10. He’s happy with his life despite all the struggles.
Despite a messy divorce, a career that went downhill fast, and multiple health issues, Brendan Fraser is back. He’s changed, yes, but he wears the change well and is positive about the future. Says the actor, “Something good came out of something that was bad. Sometimes it takes a while for that to happen.”
Fans call the return of Brendan Fraser, the Brennaisance. And the internet is here for it.
Which role or character of Brendan Fraser has stuck with you the most? And what kind of roles would you like to see him play?