Brendan Fraser Gets Real About The Physical Struggles He Experienced Near The End Of His Stint In The Mummy Franchise

Brendan Fraser has entered his Brenaissance with a bang, as the actor recently won a Critics' Choice Award for his spectacular performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. As he returns to Hollywood as a leading man, the actor has been reflective about his career and what's brought him to this point. Among the topics he's been discussing is the physical toll that his status an action star had on his body. With that, he even opened up about the difficulties he experienced when making the final film in the Mummy franchise. 

The star famously led three Mummy films between 1999 and 2008, and fans still enjoy the movies, which are action-packed and have Indiana Jones-esque tones. Because the movies have become somewhat classics over the years, they've essentially cemented Brendan Fraser as a cinematic staple for many people. But while these films are remembered fondly, they weren’t always fun for the leading man to film. During an Interview with The Telegraph, the George of the Jungle actor got honest about how hard the films were on his body, especially when he was filming Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, on which he required some serious assistance:

Every morning I was putting myself together like a gladiator with muscle tape and ice packs, strapping on this Transformer-like exoskeleton just to get through the scene.

This sounds extremely painful and, unfortunately, the actor's work had long-lasting effects. The physical demands of the roles he took on early in his career resulted in him having several surgeries down the road. The actor previously said that he was in and out of hospitals for years and ended up having a partial knee replacement, a laminectomy, and vocal cord surgery. The physical struggles ended up having an effect on Fraser’s mental health as well. He said he experienced self-loathing during the blockbuster era of his career as well:

Absolutely, there was self-loathing. I think on some level I felt I deserved it and wanted to be the one who got in the first punch

The Trust actor seems much happier now as his career has been reinvigorated, and he's moved onto more intimate fare, for the most part. However, physicality still plays a part in his latest performance. For The Whale, Brendan Fraser wore almost 300 lbs. of prosthetics in order to accurately portray his character. The prosthetics are meant to obey the laws of physics and gravity to be as realistic as possible and to help the star's movements feel true to life. The transformation and performance are astounding and could end up landing Fraser an Oscar.

Following his turn in the acclaimed drama, Brendan Fraser will star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. He's also tapped to lead a film titled Brothers, which was co-written by Etan Cohen and will star Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage. It's clear that after all of the injuries he's amassed and mental health challenges he's faced, Fraser is exactly where he wants to be career-wise and, quite frankly, you love to see it..

You can see the Hollywood vet give the performance of a lifetime in The Whale, which is currently playing in theaters nationwide. Hulu subscribers can also revisit his star-making role in The Mummy films. Those who want to stay in the know when it comes to any of his future productions should consult our 2023 new movie releases schedule.

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.