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There was a time, not all that long ago, when Brendan Fraser was one of the top action heroes in Hollywood. As it turns out, part of the reason that isn't the case anymore is that those roles took a serious toll on the actor's body. In a recent interview, Fraser talks about his career and reveals that he spent seven years in and out of hospitals repairing the damage that countless movie stunts had caused. According to the actor...
I believe I probably was trying too hard, in a way that's destructive. By the time I did the third Mummy picture in China, I was put together with tape and ice---just, like, really nerdy and fetishy about ice packs. Screw-cap ice packs and downhill-mountain-biking pads, 'cause they're small and light and they can fit under your clothes. I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily. I needed a laminectomy. And the lumbar didn't take, so they had to do it again a year later.
In addition to the laminectomy, which is a surgery designed to relieve pressure on the spinal column, Brendan Fraser also had a partial knee replacement along with additional back surgeries, and even work on his vocal chords.
Having to go in for spinal surgery, twice, is absolutely brutal. Surgery like that is something that professional wrestlers get done after years of being dropped on their neck. Based on Brendan Fraser's description, it sounds like, while he may have been in and out of hospitals for seven years, he probably should have started a couple of years earlier. It makes you really start to appreciate what all actors, Fraser especially, put themselves through.
The profile in GQ of Brendan Fraser helps to explain why the actor seemed to vanish for so long. As the actor himself points out, working in between his various surgeries wasn't always possible, which led to him seeming to vanish from the big screen for some time. While Fraser never entirely took a break from acting, there is a pretty significant shift in his filmography following 2008's The Mummy: Curse of the Dragon Emperor. After that, you see some voice acting roles and much smaller movies, followed by a shift to television in 2015 that takes us up to the current day. Fraser is currently filming the FX series Trust, which tells the same story as Ridley Scott's recent movie All the Money in the World, about the kidnapping of the grandson of J. Paul Getty. Fraser will play the role of James Fletcher Chase, the role played by Mark Wahlberg in the movie.
Hopefully, with all the pain and surgery behind him, we'll see Brenden Fraser again down the road. I hear the Mummy franchise is in need of some help.