Why did Brendan Fraser disappear and why does he keep trending?

·4 min read
Fraser took a break from acting in 2014  (Getty/DirecTV)
Fraser took a break from acting in 2014 (Getty/DirecTV)

The American-Canadian actor, Brendan Fraser, recently made the news after the film he was set to star in, Batgirl, was unexpectedly cancelled despite being in final stages.

Directed by Ms Marvel directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the film would star Brendan Fraser as the villain Firefly, as well as ​​Michael Keaton as Batman and In the Heights actor Leslie Grace as Batgirl. The cancellation was first reported by The New York Post and later confirmed by Deadline.

Fraser started to slow down his career down from 2010 and took a hiatus from acting in 2014, leading to whispers of concern on social media about his reasons for temporarily leaving the profession.

Best known for playing Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy (1999–2008), and leading roles in comedy and fantasy films, Fraser has had a long-standing career in action-packed films. But why did the actor take a hiatus and why is he now trending? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Brendan Fraser?

Brendan Fraser, 53, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a child, child, he and his family lived in many different places, including California, Washington, Ontario, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. He became interested in acting after attending his first West End show and graduated from Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts.

His career in Hollywood kicked off not long after that, and his tall and athletic look mixed with a boyish charm earned him top marks in crowd-pleasing entertainments.

What has he starred in?

Fraser made his film debut as a sailor headed to Vietnam in the film Dogfight (1991). His first leading role was in the comedy film Encino Man, playing a frozen pre-historic caveman (1992). He later that year played David Greene in School Ties, alongside Matt Damon and Chris O’Donnell.

His first major box office success was with the 1997 comedy film George of the Jungle. Fraser had even bigger commercial success portraying Rick O’Connell in the adventure fantasy film The Mummy (1999) and its sequel The Mummy Returns (2001).

Fraser also received great praise starring alongside Michael Caine in the political drama The Quiet American (2002).

His television career is long-standing, too. You may know Fraser from his guest appearances on the television shows Scrubs, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons.

Fraser’s theatre break began in 2001, when he starred as "Brick" in the West End production of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. In addition to this, he starred in the Broadway production of Elling, but the play closed after nine performances due to mediocre reviews.

You may also know Fraser from his roles as Pleasure in The Air I Breathe (2007), and Professor Trevor Anderson in Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008).

But after around 2010, Fraser started taking on fewer acting roles and starring in lesser-known films.

What happened?

After acting back-to-back in hit roles, Fraser’s sudden hiatus didn’t go unnoticed. There are a few reasons for his decision to take a break.

In ​​a profile about Fraser written by GQ in 2018, it was revealed that he had to take break because of chronic pain he was experiencing from all the stunts he’d done in his films.

"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," the actor explained. "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."

He had to undergo various surgeries, including a partial knee replacement and many surgeries on his back. This meant steering clear from action films for a while.

Fraser also later revealed that he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive. In 2003 at an event organised by the Golden Globe and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Fraser was allegedly touched inappropriately by Philip Berk, an ex-president of the HFPA.

In the same GQ profile, he said: “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around."

"I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry," Fraser continued.

He explained that he distanced himself from Hollywood after these events, and felt the association turned his back on him too.

“I don’t know if this curried disfavor with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening,” he said.

Berk, on the other hand, wrote in his memoir: “His career declined through no fault of ours.”

Fans weighed in on these revelations, getting behind him in support.

“Not sure why Brendan Fraser is trending but never forget that he was sexually assaulted by a Golden Globes executive, and Hollywood barely noticed,” one tweet read. “He’s also a very likable actor who deserves a huge box office smash.”