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Brendan Fraser: Biggest Comeback Of The Decade

Brendan Fraser rose to fame as a massive movie star in the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to parts in movies like George of the Jungle and The Mummy series. Despite being at the pinnacle of his career, Fraser virtually vanished from Hollywood in the middle of the 2000s. The reason for Fraser’s disappearance from showbiz is shockingly disheartening which makes his comeback an inspiring celebration.

Brendan Fraser’s Rise to Fame

Brendan Fraser achieved his first significant box office triumph with the 1997 comedy George of the Jungle, which featured Leslie Mann and earned approximately $180 million at the box office. Fraser portrayed a Tarzan parody that was based on a cartoon.

In 1999’s The Mummy, when he played Rick O’Connell, Fraser enjoyed yet another huge hit. The movie was a financial success, earning over $416.4 million worldwide. Fraser returned to his character in both of the sequels, The Mummy Returns in 2001 and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in 2008. The Mummy series is arguably one of the most renowned works of Fraser that sealed him as one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood. 

Why Did Brendan Fraser Quit Acting?

Brendan Fraser experienced several personal difficulties along the way, including depression, health issues, a messy divorce, the passing of his mother and an alleged sexual assault by a prominent Hollywood insider. 

Major Surgeries

Along with personal problems, the actor had to under multiple major operations as a result of performing his own stunts in The Mummy series. Several reports state that the actor was “patched together with tape and ice” by the end of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in 2008 as a result of the repercussions of performing his own stunts for several years. 

Over the course of the next seven years, he underwent several operations, including a partial knee replacement, back surgery that involved “bolting several compressed spinal pads together,” and vocal chord repair.

The Messy Divorce

Along with facing setbacks due to health issues in his professional life, the actor went through a messy divorce in 2007 with his ex-wife, Afton Smith. According to the New York Post, Fraser was forced to make child support payments of about $900,000, an amount which was based on the success of The Mummy series.

However, the third Mummy film crashed at the box office and Fraser allegedly petitioned the court to lower the payment six years after the divorce as he was no longer able to afford the sizeable sum due to a lack of work.

According to the article, Afton Smith wasn’t buying any of it and charged the actor with “fraud” for allegedly concealing assets. She made little progress in proving her claims, and the judge decided that he could reduce his alimony payments if his yearly income dropped below US$3 million, according to Cheat Sheet.

Alleged Sexual Assault

In an interview with GQ, Fraser alleged that Hollywood had “blacklisted” him in 2018. Fraser came forward and said that a previous head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had sexually abused him.

Fraser alleged that Philip Berk of the HFPA assaulted him in 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which spiralled him down into depression. Fraser claimed he was rarely invited to the Golden Globes, which are hosted by the HFPA, after the incident.

“I don’t know if this curried disfavour with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening,” Fraser said. “The phone does stop ringing in your career, and you start asking yourself why. There are many reasons, but was this one of them? I think it was.”

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

One of Fraser’s first big roles since 2013 was made official in January 2021 when he was cast as the protagonist in Darren Aronofsky’s movie The Whale. The film had its world premiere in September 2022 at the Venice International Film Festival, where it was lauded by reviewers and received a tear-jerking six-minute standing ovation from the audience.

The Whale is about a reclusive English teacher (Fraser) who weighs 600 pounds. As he struggles with his health, he tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Fraser used a prosthetic costume that might have added up to 136 lbs to represent the protagonist character who is tormented. He allegedly spent up to six hours per day in the makeup chair to completely morph into the role.

Following Fraser’s standing ovation in Venice, fans and prominent celebrities, like Dwayne Johnson, have been applauding the actor on social media.

The ‘Brenaissance’

Brendan Fraser’s admirers never wavered in their devotion, whether it was during the apex of his celebrity or at its rough end. His devoted fan following preserved the actor’s memory, particularly if swashbuckling movies were discussed on social media.

With his comeback to the big screen, there is also speculation that the actor might be nominated for the upcoming Oscars.

The actor recently finished filming Brothers under the direction of Max Barbakow which also stars Josh Brolin and Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage. Fraser was all set to return as the antagonist Firefly in the Batgirl film starring Leslie Grace, Michael Keaton, and J. K. Simmons. Despite the anticipation for the movie, Warner Bros. Discovery ultimately decided to cancel Batgirl in August 2022.

Fraser will soon begin filming the Martin Scorsese movie Killers of the Flower Moon alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

Brendan Fraser appears to be on track for a career return that will last if opportunities keep coming his way, much to the delight of a hopeful fan following that has cherished his performances for decades. And sometimes, it’s a much-needed sign that good thing happen to good people.