Brendan Fraser Recalls A Sweet Story About Meeting Leonardo DiCaprio In The Early Days Of Their Careers

Left to right: Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and Brendan Fraser in The Mummy
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios and Universal)

Brendan Fraser and Leonardo DiCaprio both became some of the biggest actors of a generation when they starred in some of the biggest movies of the 1990s. While DiCaprio has continued to star in massive movies, and remain a fan favorite among viewers, Fraser has had a rough few years. However, now The Mummy actor is in the midst of his long-awaited and deserved Brenaissance, and he’s sharing sweet stories about his early days, specifically one about Dicaprio recalling the impact their first interaction had on him. 

Fraser worked with DiCaprio on Martin Scorsese's upcoming movie Killers of the Flower Moon, which is on the 2023 movie schedule. This was one of the first times they’d seen each other since they were young actors. The Whale star explained the first time they met to GQ, saying: 

When he was I think probably all of, I don’t know, 17, 16 maybe, he did Gilbert Grape. I saw it on the Paramount lot.

The article noted that Fraser is a couple of years older than DiCaprio, and they were both on the come-up at the time of this interaction. The Mummy star continued the sweet story about seeing the Oscar-winning actor for the first time on the Killers of the Flower Moon set, saying: 

I think I had just been in School Ties or something then, and I was, like, flummoxed but I just wanted to tell him, ‘Hear, hear. That was incredible.’ And he repeated that to me. He remembered me. He said: ‘You were the only guy who didn’t treat me like a little kid.’ He volunteered that to me. That was meaningful.

It’s been incredible seeing massive stars like DiCaprio tell Fraser how much he means to them. I can see how this little interaction would have meant a lot to The Revenant actor because at the time he was only 19 when What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was being made, and Fraser was 23 and making School Ties at the same time. When you’re that young and you receive support from someone who sees you as an equal it’s really empowering. 

The two then both went on to star in some of the biggest movies of the ‘90s and beyond, with DiCaprio as Jack in 1997’s Titanic, and Fraser helming The Mummy franchise, which began in 1999. Now, I can’t wait to see the two star alongside each other in Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which also features a stellar cast including Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons and John Lithgow.

This story reminds me a lot of the mutual admiration between Fraser and his The Mummy Returns co-star Dwayne Johnson. The Rock shared a hilarious story about the first time he met Fraser, and he explained just how happy he is that Fraser is finally getting “his flowers” for his performance in The Whale. He even said he wanted his co-star to go all the way and win an Oscar for his performance in Darren Aronofsky’s film

It’s so exciting to see all the love, support and admiration for Fraser as he comes back into the spotlight. I also love that massive A-list actors like DiCaprio still remember the impact the action star of the ‘90s had on them when they were young actors. As for Fraser’s comeback, you can get a tease of his performance in The Whale’s trailer, and catch him in the movie that could get him an Academy Award in theaters on December 9 according to the 2022 movie schedule

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.