Brendan Fraser Credits Matt Damon For Helping Him Land His Big Hollywood Break

Brendan Fraser may have only just hit the top of his career with his critically acclaimed role in The Whale, but the man has been working in Hollywood for 30 years. Fraser has been action heroes and cavemen and Dudley Do-Right. He made his debut in the film School Ties which starred several young actors who went on to good careers. And Fraser says that one of them, Matt Damon, is the reason he got the job as the lead.

School Ties introduced many people to not only Brendan Fraser but also Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Chris O’Donnell. Fraser recently told IMDb that his screen test for the lead role of David Greene was with Matt Damon, and he believes that his decision to follow and respond to Damon’s performance is the reason he got the job. Fraser said…

When I did my screen test for School Ties with Matt Damon I was pretty fresh out of the academy and it was a test, you know? You’re challenged for a reason to see if you have a place in this world, in this medium, in this format. And I’ve got to say it was Matt I matched pitch with. I just knew inherently not copy him, but run alongside, shoulder to shoulder. And I think it worked, I got the job. So I have him to thank for that

Fraser says that the rest of the cast of School Ties had already been chosen when he had his screen test. It was likely for this reason that Fraser decided to follow Damon’s lead. Damon already had the job and if Fraser didn’t show he was good opposite the future Oscar winner, he likely wouldn’t get chosen. As he says, it apparently worked as he got the job.

School Ties follows Brendan Fraser’s character David as a Jewish boy who gets into an elite Catholic boarding school in the 1950s. David has to hide his Jewishness, but it eventually comes out. Matt Damon plays Charlie, David’s primary antagonist who becomes part of an anti-Semitic crusade against David when his religion is revealed. As such it makes sense why these two were in a screen test together as their chemistry is some of the most important in the film.

While School Ties wasn’t a massive hit upon release, it’s one of those movies that a lot of people of a certain age seem to have seen, and one of Fraser best roles in his career. And a lot of the cast went on to even bigger and better things, so clearly the movie was on to something. 

While Matt Damon and Ben Affleck would be the ones to win Oscars first, there’s a decent chance that Brendan Fraser may follow them this year. He’s considered a frontrunner in the race for Best Actor thanks to his lead role in The Whale

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.