Dwayne Johnson On Wanting Mummy Co-Star Brendan Fraser To Win An Oscar For The Whale

Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell in The mummy Returns
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

As the 2023 awards season approaches, Brendan Fraser seems to be the current frontrunner for the Best Actor race at the Academy Awards, due to his performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. On the festival circuit, the movie has received massive praise and standing ovations and, at TIFF, Fraser was honored with an award -- and the crowd had an emotional reaction to seeing him on stage. The actor’s The Mummy Returns co-star, Dwayne Johnson, has also been watching his buddy's comeback and is all in on Fraser reaching Oscar glory. 

Previously, midst Brendan Fraser getting all of the praise for The Whale, The Rock previously shared via social media that he was “rooting” for the actor during his comeback moment. During a recent interview, the wrestler-turned-actor expanded on his thoughts about Fraser’s ongoing wave of praise and Oscar chances, saying this: 

I’m so happy for Brendan. I’m so happy for him, he’s a great guy. I’m so happy for this resurgence and for this recognition and acknowledgement of him getting his flowers. I want him to go all the way, man. I wanna see him on that Oscar stage, and hold that sucker up, and deliver, I'm sure, what will be an amazing speech.

While speaking to MTV News, Dwayne Johnson shared that the star holds a special place in his heart because he was instrumental in him getting his start in Hollywood and that he's just a "great guy". Johnson's first movie role was in 2001’s The Mummy Returns, which his old buddy was the star of.

The Rock recalled that The Mummy was among the biggest franchises of that time and Fraser had to OK his presence in the film as the its antagonist -- the Scorpion King. He remembers hearing from the film’s director Stephen Sommers that Brendan Fraser loved the idea and was “so happy” to welcome him in the film at a time when The Rock was not yet a movie star. In Johnson’s words: 

It really meant a lot to me at a time when I didn’t know what I was doing in Hollywood, I’d just come from WWE, had no acting experience, except in the WWE, I’d never been on a movie set before ever, and all of a sudden I’m in the middle of the Sahara Desert making The Mummy Returns, and I get that kind of nod of acceptance from the star of the movie. It really meant a lot to me. So many years later, I never forgot it, and I see him getting the standing ovation for almost ten minutes and he’s crying. I thought it was beautiful.

The success of the 2001 Mummy sequel would lead to The Rock's first leading role in the movie’s subsequent spinoff, The Scorpion King, which released only a year later. Dwayne Johnson clearly has a lot of love for Brendan Fraser for being part of his Hollywood beginnings and is hoping to see the actor get the ultimate actor’s honor of an Oscar. How sweet to see these two support each other!

In the midst of the standing ovations and critical acclaim he's received for his latest role, Brendan Fraser said that it has “felt so affirming” as an actor to connect with an audience the way the movie is. Darren Aronofsky’s latest feature is about an English teacher living with severe obesity as he attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter (played by Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink). In the movie, Fraser wears a fat suit, which has received some criticism, and the actor has responded to

As the race goes at the moment, Brenden Fraser is the absolute frontrunner of the Best Actor race, although Colin Farrell’s The Banshees of Insherin role and Austin Butler’s Elvis are strong contenders as well. Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam has finally come to fruition after spending nearly a decade in development. Johnson has since become one of the biggest celebrities since starring in The Mummy Returns, and there are many more upcoming projects from The Rock to come. 

You can see The Whale when it releases in theaters on December 9, and Black Adam is playing in theaters now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.