What the Hell Happened to Brendan Fraser?

Brendan Fraser 2014

Brendan Fraser always seemed like he was one big movie away from being an A-list star.  All through the 90’s the media buzzed about his potential.  At the end of the decade, Fraser finally had a couple of big hit movies.  And yet, he still couldn’t cross over to the A-list.  More than a decade later, Fraser is still a respected working actor.  But the A-list potential has dried up.

What the hell happened?


Fraser’s first acting role was in a reenactment on America’s Most Wanted in 1988.  He appeared in a TV movie, Child of Darkness, Child of Light in 1991.  That same year, Fraser had a cameo role as a sailor who gets into a fight in the River Phoenix movie, Dogfight (pictured above, clip below)

fraser - encino man

1992 was a big year for Fraser.  First he starred in the comedy, Encino Man opposite Sean Astin and Pauly Shore.

Astin and Shore played teenage dopes in the Wayne and Garth mold.  They were kind of a poor man’s Bill and Ted.  Even that description may set expectations too high since the “funny one” was played by Pauly Shore.  At the time, Shore was a popular personality on MTV and Disney hoped to capitalize on that popularity with Encino Man.

Fraser played a caveman who awakens in the 90’s in Encino , CA.  Austin and Shore try to use their discovery of the caveman to become more popular at high school.  The movie follows the teen comedy formula to the letter.  It’s one saving grace is Fraser’s goofy performance as the prehistoric fish out of water.

Despite negative reviews, Encino Man was a hit.  As a result, audiences were subjected to years of Pauly Shore movies and a direct-to-TV sequel, Encino Woman.

Fraser went on to reprise his role as Link in a cameo appearance in Shore’s 1993 film, Son-in-Law.  He also played a soldier with the nick-name Link on his fatigues in Shore’s 1994 movie, In the Army Now.  Apparently that ended Fraser’s indentured servitude and he was spared the indignity of cameos in Jury Duty and Bio-Dome.

fraser - school ties

Later that year, Fraser starred in the drama, School Ties, opposite Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell and Ben Affleck.

Fraser played a Jewish student who transfers to a private school on an athletic scholarship during his senior year.  The film is set in the 1950’s and Fraser’s character faces rampant anti-Semitism.  To protect himself, he hides his religion from his fellow students.

While filming, director Robert Mandel told the young cast that they would go on to be the next Brat Pack.  He was right in the sense that many members of the cast went on to be famous.  But fortunately they were not stigmatized with a label like the 80’s actors were.

School Ties received mixed to positive reviews and did moderately well at the box office.

1992 is basically a microcosm of Fraser’s career.  He would bounce between goofy comedic roles like Encino Man and more dramatic roles like School Ties.  On the one hand, few actors have the kind of range to pull off both broad slapstick and drama.  On the other, Fraser never seemed to find a niche.


In 1993, Fraser appeared in the movie, Twenty Bucks.

Twenty Bucks followed a $20 bill from an ATM machine until it is finally turned in to be shredded.  Over the course of the movie, the twenty dollar bill passes through the lives of several people played by Fraser, Linda Hunt, Elisabeth Shue, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, William H. Macy and others.

Twenty Bucks got mixed reviews and barely appeared in theaters.  That same year, Fraser starred opposite Donald Sutherland in Younger and Younger, a comedy that was even less seen than Twenty Bucks.

Next: With Honors and Airheads


Posted on March 2, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 233 Comments.

  1. This article is sad for me. Of all the actors you’ve done so far, Fraser is my favorite. Bedazzled was an awesome – and underrated – film, as was Blast from the Past. The Mummy is just plain good fun, mainly thanks to Fraser.

    But like Dave Foley, something just didn’t click. I don’t know what the hell happened, but it’s depressing – because he could have been so much more.


    • It’s funny you mention Dave Foley. When I was talking about actors who were having trouble making their alimony payments, I was thinking primarily of him. He was the first actor who I had heard really talk about the problem. He got divorced at the height of News Radio and has never made anywhere near the money he was making in those days. He says he will never get out from under his alimony payments no matter how hard he works. I imagine Fraser is in a similar though less dire situation.

      I agree that Fraser is often the best thing about his movies. But I was shocked at how many awful movies he has made.


      • Actually, as soon as I saw the words ‘failed actor’ and ‘alimony’, Foley came to mind. Both Foley and Fraser are extremely talented, and able to poke fun at themselves, but have had really bad luck.

        What makes me sad is the wasted potential. If Fraser had come across some better scripts, maybe we wouldn’t have atrocities like Dudley Dooright or Furry Vengeance.

        He seems to choose roles, it seems, like Gooding. No thought at all for his future.


      • Which ’90s actor has fallen the hardest? What movie did them in?

        said:The 90s were pretty good to Brendan Fraser.

        His vindictive, psycho wife apparently ruined him. Plus his good looks faded and he became fat and bald. I’m sure his domestic trouble contributed to his poor health and physical decline, though. Let this be a lesson: Do Never Marry if you’re a big Hollywood actor. (Clooney used to know this, but apparently he forgot it. )

        So far I’d say Brendan Fraser is the one who has fallen the furthest and hardest. He’s in truly pitiful shape these days. Once an A-list big name, now a broken man relegated to cartoon voice-overs and cameos in obscure cheapo flicks. And all because he married a psycho bitch.


  2. One thing I don’t understand is why “Blast from the Past” was not a bigger hit. I loved the movie when it hit the theatre in 1999 (?) and still watch occaisionally. It seemed to have everything. A time-warp plot like the first Austin Powers movie, seasoned performers Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek to contribute their acting chops, Fraser and Silverstone, both young and super attractive AND talented enough to handle the comic nuances in their roles, even a quirky, endearing supporting character played by the lesser known Dave Foley. Again how could not this be a hit? perhaps it has gained a cult following of sorts. not sure. Also, for all intents and purposes Brendan Fraser is given credit for having the range that Matthew Broderick and Tom Hanks are criticized for not having. So it’s as if you are damned if you are an actor with range, and damned without. I guess being able to work steadily isn’t the end of the world anyway.


    • I was surprised when Blast From the Past wasn’t a bigger hit. I just don’t think audiences were interested in Fraser as a rom com leading man or a comeback for Silverstone. Fraser, as talented as he is, is pretty damn close to box office poison. Mummy movies aside, he may have the worst track record of anyone I have written about. He has several legendary flops on his resume.

      I think Fraser might have been more suited to supporting roles. But his good looks pushed him into leading roles he couldn’t quite pull off.



        Using cheap-looking special effects to animate an army of animals, all out to make life hell for real-estate developer Brendan Fraser and thus prevent his bosses from destroying their forest

        Filling 90 minutes with more animal-on-human slapstick violence than a year’s worth of Woody Woodpecker cartoons

        Making sure audiences know that Fraser’s family enjoys their Wii, MacBook, Kindle, and iPhone

        Wasting a supporting cast filled with the likes of Wallace Shawn, Rob Riggle, Angela Kinsey, and Toby Huss

        Offering a shallow vision of environmentalism that amounts to “Animals are like angry little people, so don’t f** with them”


      • Actors who should have been huge?

        « Reply #90 on: July 16, 2010, 06:45:48 PM »
        Brendan Fraser always struck me as a guy who could’ve been huge, an absolute A-lister, had he simply chose better roles after the original Mummy film.


  3. I only have one thing to add – Fraser got kind of fat around the turn of the century.


    • He did. But he seems to be able to drop weight when needed for action roles.


    • Fat, is that all you have to say?
      How shallow!

      Lets look at this ‘FAT’ issue in a broader sense and kindly add in some ‘real’ insight and respect for BF

      He did it to have comedic effect for his role as Dan Sanders in Furry Vengeance…He is quoted as saying of himself, ‘Would you really laugh at good looking buff guy, aside George of the Jungle, ( and winks), no that isn’t as funny, but a regular guy with added weight, maybe a father figure and he really needs to be a regular guy, so the animals that were peeved off could take revenge on him.” Then he also stated of himself with laughter, “Hey and now there is more of me to love.”

      I believe he has already lost most of the weight during the summer of 2013, but I don’t think that being ‘a buff, cupcake boy’ is where he wants to be anymore, not that it was ever an initial intention. He’s never been egocentric in that way… If you can remember he punched his egotistical ‘cupcake’ self out in Looney Toons, Back in a Action. ( Which my daughter loves by the way.) .

      A ‘mature’ Harrison Ford gave him a glowing statement on an interview for Extreme Measures, again where, ” BF has great acting talent, intelligence and his ideas are effervescent”. Harrison knows that BF has what it takes to go the distance in Hollywood in these current fiscally trying Times. Harrison is having the very same issues by the way.
      Now, I know why Harrison has become grumpy, just like BF’s anger at the Holllywood’s unrelenting linited corporate system….

      Okay, I see to be on a tangent but bear with me here…
      Brendan Fraser is multifaceted and so what if he needs to gain a few pounds for a role. Is it that you don’t want to see him in anything else, other then his cupcake roles? I feel sorry for you. Stop limiting him and what diversity we as fans can see him in or as. What gives you the right to see only, just, that he is fat?

      Also take note, Fact.
      After 45, do you even know what that’s like, I am almost 50. After the age of 40 it is harder to do what BF does and keep it off, also he has had injuries on and off film sets. This prevents him from doing the roles he once was able to do. Even for Harrison Ford, that time has now passed, he is encroaching on 70.

      An actor cannot be a beefcake / cupcake boy forever. Are we a culture of youth lovers only?, Does this only allow for nothing other then good A-listers who are trim and beautiful looking? Oh, how sad is that!…We are really missing a diversity of character roles these days, and thank God BF is still pushing to make them happen for us.

      Some of the best roles in history were played by large or portly men or women.
      (…… another tangent for another day. )

      So grow up and get a far less shallow life.
      In other words……A real one.


  4. I’m not sure if you ever got a chance to see Fraser’s appearances in Scrubs, but his charm and humor are on really fine display there.
    The public is fickle and a little unjust at times.
    In my eyes, Fraser’s career was hurt by his hits. If he never does George of the Jungle, then Monkeybone and Dudley Do-Right probably never happen. If Monkeybone hadn’t happened, then audiences might have turned out for the Looney Tunes movie which is pretty darn funny.
    I agree with others here that Blast from the Past is underrated.
    Somebody really needs to explain the nature of the acting profession to the family law judges in California. How are they not doing a percentage deal there? yikes!
    I hope Fraser continues to work and can make at least little bit of a comeback.


    • I have seen Fraser’s appearance on Scrubs. Very solid. Scrubs was one of those shows that made good use of guest stars.

      George of the Jungle was a double edged sword. Without it, Fraser might have never made it out of the 90s. His track record at the box office was abysmal up until that point.

      But then as you point out it paved the way for future disasters. Basically, the success of George opened up opporyunities for Fraser to make bad descisions in relatively expensive movies.

      I fully expect to see Fraser continue to work. As he gets older, I think he may settle into supporting roles.

      I’m sure a lot of actors share your opinion on CA’s divorce settlements. The moral of the story seems to be never get divorced at the top of your career.


      • I think in a way, Brendan may have really hurt his credibility as a potentially serious, leading man actor by appearing in too many kids/PG or G rated/family friendly movies (e.g. “George of the Jungle”, “Dudley Do-Right”, “Looney Tunes: Back in Action”, “Furry Vengeance”, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, etc.) in such a short period of time.


        • Definitely. A lot of people see him as a big goof. Not quite cartoonish like Jim Carrey. Like a bland cartoon only kids would watch.


        • But kids love Brendan Fraser doing these goofy roles!!

          I listen to my daughter watch George of Jungle, she in stitches whenever George works in tandem with the jungle animals to win a situation against the bad guys, That’s her thing,

          So when did we as adults, who have grown out of our childhood, loose the view point of a child?
          Have we grown out of our wonderment and have we taken on the cynicism of the world at large? (Trust me there is lot of it!). Do we forget what and why we laugh at something?

          Immerse yourself in your inner child and then take a look at the world, naive, innocent, maybe, but at least your laughing at a goofy Brenden Fraser movie like ‘George of the Jungle’ or ‘Furry Vengeance’. Take the adult tainted glasses off and put on out on your childhood lenses of adventure and silliness.

          Maybe Brendan Fraser is big kid at heart himself’.. He has even stated that in the media.

          Yes, when he is decidedly serious, his serious roles are top notch, but give the other side of the coin a go too.
          Ask your kids what they think?

          Ever think that maybe we like silly humor up here in Canada? Most the of the guys were talking about here are famous comedians and they are Canadian, Jim Carry, Mike Myers and of course Brendan Fraser. Hey we even gave you William Shatner.

          Okay so I have made my point, please take a moment to see from all view points, then everybody win,.
          including Brendan Fraser.

          Give this one to the kids eh : )


      • Years ago I remember reading an interview with the happily married Frasiers. Brendan credited his wife with basically saving his life (drugs? Duddly Do Right?) – it was basically exactly what you DON’T want to put into writing so that if you get divorced- your wife’s attorney will claim that she saved/guided your career and you owe her big time.

        Basically it pays to stay single if you are an actor sports celeb (Derek Jeter is doing it right- he will probably get married when he retires and keep almost everything if he ever gets divorced). Just don’t be a sperm donor like Jason Patric.


        • lol – great comment. Dudley Do Right cracked me up as did the Jason Patric reference.

          I have read of quite a few celebs who get divorced at the peak of their earning power end up paying for it when they can no longer support the agreed upon alimony.


  5. Indeed Fraser has a broad range when it comes to different kind of characters he plays,otherwise who could imagine that “George of the Jungle” could play a serious role in “Crash”…………..


  6. So this Crash flick was a big deal when it came out. You guys are saying it’s some uber-pretentious Magnolia kind of thing ?


    • Less pretenious than Magnolia and a lot less quality. Same basic idea but less art house and more melodrama. I think that’s why mainstream audiences loved it so much. It’s actually kind of bad.


      • I basically hated Crash from day one- the melodrama is sooo thick. The movie poster should say “Why can’t we all just get along?”

        Its one thing having a racist cop who an also be a hero- but the guy was a molester! That’s a bit too much of a character arc.


        • The movie just kept laying it on too thick. As the coincidences piled up, I checked out. It became very obvious how the movie was going to end. It worked too hard to force that ending which was supposed to be a guy punch. But the movie didn’t earn that ending honestly.

          Frankly, I thought it was a load of crap. But clearly, we’re in the minority. I don’t mind. Audiences like crap.


  7. Pardon me if I take what others have previously said about Brendan Fraser’s career on this site prior to the actual writing of his own WTHHT entry:

    Fraser is a really interesting case. I almost feel like he wasted his matinee idol good looks by being such a goof. Watch some of his dramas, and it’s clear that he could’ve had a career as a modern American Cary Grant. Maybe he just never could find the right series of roles, but he just was unable to shake the dippy comedy stuff and at some point even when he attempted to be serious, you just kind of expected him to do a pratfall at any second. If you’ve seen his appearances on “Scrubs” you know that his humour could be smart and sad as well as crazy, but most of what we got was “George of the Jungle” and “Dudley Do Right.” I’ll stop now and pick up the conversation once you’ve actually written the article. Really looking forward to it!

    Fraser was/is extremely versatile. But I felt like that versatlity worked against him. Once he got typecast as a goofball it was hard to see him as anything else.

    Actually, Fraser did indeed ruin his perception with some awful script choices. I think maybe he stepped into a persona with Airheads…and never stepped out. But he can act.


  8. What Went Wrong?: Vol. 25 – Failed and Forgotten Fantasy Adaptation Edition:

    Inkheart (2008)

    I had high hopes for Inkheart, which had a disastrous release.
    Like Eragon, Inkheart is a failed fantasy film based off of an original book property (this time from German author Cornelia Funke). The similarities pretty much end there, however. Inkheart is the story of Mortimer Folchart and his daughter Meggie, who are “silver tongues,” or people who are able to bring books to life simply by reading them aloud (how Mortimer made it through school without ever being called to read aloud for class is beyond me). The film, directed by Iain Softley (Hackers, The Wings of the Dove) was released in the UK in late 2008 and the US in early 2009, where it grossed an incredibly weak 17 million dollars domestically, and just over 60 million internationally, on a total budget of 60 million, meaning the film will probably never be profitable. The cast of Inkheart seems fantastically put together, and includes Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, and Paul Bettany. This seems like exactly the type of film Brendan Fraser (The Mummy series, Journey to the Center of the Earth) does really well in. Audiences have responded quite positively to Fraser in these types of fantasy adventure roles, but Inkheart was a critical and commercial failure for New Line Cinemas, as well as one of the last films it released before being absorbed completely into Warner Bros. So, what exactly went wrong?

    Inkheart’s high concept, unique premise, and well-regarded source material probably could have made for a much better movie. Rotten Tomatoes rates the film at a rather dismal 39%, indicating generally unfavorable reviews. Additionally, Inkheart spent an enormous amount of time in the production stages. The film was originally scheduled for release in 2007, but delay after delay pushed the release date back by well over a year domestically. It doesn’t help that director Iain Softley isn’t particularly known for his fantasy work. The director’s most successful films, which include Kevin Spacey vehicle K-Pax (2001) and horror film The Skeleton Key (2005), are not known for their special effects shots or high budgets. Inkheart itself was actually mostly shot in 2006 and early 2007, and screenings of a roughly completed film took place in London during the summer of ’07, a full year and a half before its final release date. The screenings, according to author Cornelia Funke, went well, and it seemed like the film was poised for a successful run at the box office that just didn’t pan out. By the time Inkheart was actually released, audiences in general had probably moved on from waiting for the project (other book-to-movie adaptations, including the first Twilight movie, had eclipsed it). Somehow, Inkspell, the sequel to Inkheart, has begun production for a film adaptation. I can’t imagine Softley will be back as director.


    • 9 franchise-starting young adult films that struggled:


      In reading Inkheart, you can see that Cornelia Funke has poured her sheer love and adoration of books into this one novel. The chapters are bookended with different literary quotes and the plot is driven by the characters’ love of words. It’s about a young girl, Meggie whose father is a Silvertongue (someone born with the ability to read characters out of stories) and their dealings with the characters of one particular novel, both good and bad. Derivative it may sound, but Funke is a gifted storyteller and imbues Inkheart with real magic. A magic that, sadly, did not translate to the big screen.

      Brendan Fraser was cast as Meggie’s father (and he was the man Funke envisaged while writing the book), and Iain Softley’s adaptation lacks the vim and heart of Funke’s book as well as committing the most heinous of crimes: squandering the talents of Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, Paul Bettany and Jim Broadbent. Each are wasted and it’s a real shame because with a better script, a bit more vision and a stronger backing (there’s a tangible sense that New Line Cinema wasn’t fully behind this one) Inkheart could have been something really special. It turned out not to be.

      Does it have a future? There were rumblings at the time of Inkheart’s release, but it was financially a flop for New Line and it’s hard to imagine the majority of the cast returning for a sequel.


  9. Another great article!! I had no idea that Brendan Fraser had starred in so many movies. I do remember his Pauly Shore movies (WTF was someone thinking that guy had talent??)

    I really enjoyed him in the Mummy movies; although I am interested in why you seem to dislike Stephen Sommers?? (I love Van Helsing!! It is so campy, it is enjoyable, if not just for the accents the actors use).

    Regardless, he is a talented actor who can play a variety of roles. I know his career got smacked by Monkeybone, just like my girl Bridget.

    I am glad he is still in demand; I did read the alimony issues on TMZ’s website


    • I know that Sommers movies are supposed to be harmless, brainless entertainment. But to me, they embody everything that is wrong with big budget CGI-fueled summer movies. They are lazy, souless, empty experiences fill with flat, unconvincing CGI. I find these movies aggressively mediocre. They assume that audiences are stupid and undemanding.

      But what do I know? My wife was watching Twilight last night and I felt exactly the same way about that movie. It was outrageously popular so clearly I am in the minority.

      Same with Pauly Shore. For a short while, he was popular. Who cares that he wasn’t actually funny? His movies made a profit. It probably didn’t hurt that his mom owned a comedy club which keeps him working even now.

      Fonda could have survived Monkeybone if she wanted to. Henry Selick took the fall for that and even he eventually bounced back. When it flopped, she just gave up and decided to concentrate on her family.

      Fraser was used to flops by then. I was actually shocked how many expensive flops Fraser was allowed to make. At some point, you would think studios would decide not to spend $60-80 million on a Brendan Fraser movie. But no, they kept trying.


      • 10 Directors Who Should Never Be Trusted With Giant Budgets:

        Stephen Sommers

        After making his feature debut in 1989 with the $800,000 Catch Me If You Can, Stephen Sommers moved on to write and direct well-received literary adaptations The Adventures of Huck Finn and The Jungle Book for Disney. His next movie, the $45m horror Deep Rising, began a long affinity for poorly-structured genre fare that relied too heavily on special effects. The movie earned just $11.3m at the domestic box office, but despite that disappointment Sommers’ convincing pitch to Universal executives saw him given $80m to resurrect the studio’s long-dormant Mummy franchise.

        Earning over $415m worldwide, The Mummy is a strange beast; an old-fashioned adventure that manages to be equal parts entertaining and empty. The movie’s success guaranteed a sequel, and The Mummy Returns upped the budget to $98m and essentially delivered more of the same. Still, the movie out-grossed its predecessor, and Sommers decided to continue his relationship with Universal’s classic stable of monsters and moved on to Van Helsing. A great idea poorly executed, the unlimited potential of the premise is swallowed up in a bloated $160m blockbuster. Intended as a franchise-starter, lukewarm reception and disappointing box office returns nixed the idea.

        Sommers’ last big-budget release was the unintentionally hilarious GI Joe: Rise of Cobra. Basically a $175m live-action remake of Team America, the movie suffers from the same problems as most of the director’s output; poor writing, a nonsensical plot and an over-abundance of visual effects. Barely squeaking past $300m worldwide, Sommers was replaced by John Chu for the sequel. Despite a career as a critically-derided purveyor of vapid studio fare, his movies have nonetheless grossed over $1.5bn at the box office. Ironically his latest movie, Dean Koontz adaptation Odd Thomas, is his cheapest effort in nearly 20 years but legal troubles have seen the movie shelved indefinitely in the States.


    • Bad Movie Beatdown: Van Helsing:

      Hugh Jackman fights off all the monsters bar one… the script.


      • I was surprised to find out the third Mummy did okay at the box office. No one I knew had seen it. I didn’t hear anyone talking about it. I just assumed it bombed.


        • The 3rd movie may have broke $100M at the box office, but it was complete garbage. And this is coming from someone who was a fan of the first two Mummy films (especially the first one, which really was a very fun Indiana Jones-type action adventure film). Terrence’s post captures it, all the magic was gone by the third one.


        • I was never a fan of the franchise. I felt about the first movie the way everyone else felt about the third one. So personally, I didn’t notice much of a drop in quality. But I know I’m in the minority there.


        • I was never a fan of that series either. I wanted a MUMMY movie, not an Indiana Jones-wannabe with CGI bugs


        • Me too. And some of the rejected ideas sounded pretty dang cool. I would have been okay with an Indiana Jones-style mummy-themed adventure but The Mummy was so dang derivative. I know John Hannah was there for comic relief. But his character annoyed the living crap out of me. The CGI was pretty impressive for its time. But even then, I was bored with it. And it hasn’t aged well in my opinion.

          I will give Fraser credit. His charm is what made that movie almost work for me. And I think he’s the reason so many other people liked it. It’s a shame he couldn’t duplicate that in the rest of his career.


    • 8 Actor Replacements In Movie Sequels That Totally Sucked:

      6. Rachel Weisz/Maria Bello – Evelyn O’Connell

      It’s in these sorts of cases, when an actor has played a character on two memorable occassions, that I bring out one simple question: “What’s the point?” If Rachel Weisz didn’t want to return for the third installment in the Mummy trilogy, why didn’t they just write her character out of the story? It was certainly workable that way, and a romantic interest could’ve been brought in for another character inside – Alex O’Connell, her son, perhaps?

      Anyway, rant over, though my point stands: Maria Bello was recast as Evelyn O’Connell, the central female protagonist in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns and now this movie that’s set in China instead. One of the great things about the first two movies was the chemistry Weisz shared with co-star Brendan Fraiser (hey, it can happen), but Bello lacks that aspect entirely. She also doesn’t act like the character she’s supposed to be playing at all. It’s not like this is a reboot or something – you’re meant to be playing an established character, Maria!


    • The 8 Worst Movie Threequels Of All Time:

      2. The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

      The Mummy franchise had been sleeping peacefully for seven years before Rob Cohen decided to jerk it out of its slumber for this dismal third outing. Judging by the acting on display, it seems as though Brendan Fraser and co. have also just been roused from a lengthy coma, while Cohen turns to a vomiting yak to supply the laughs.

      The introduction of a smart-alecky kid goes the same way as every prior use of that particular plot device, while Jet Li is chronically underused as a statue for most of the film’s running time. With nary a fresh idea in sight, and the fun of the original sadly lacking, it’s a film perhaps best summed up by a line from John Hannah’s character: “I’ve seen enough mummies to last a lifetime!” Amen, brother.


    • How 2001 was a film game-changer I: When Opening Weekends Attack! (or How the Mummy Returns kick started the modern blockbuster!):

      This is one of a handful of essays that will be dealing with the various trends that were kicked off during the 2001 calendar year, and how they still resonate today.

      When 2001 started, there had been exactly one $70 million+ opening (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, with $72 million over the Fri-Sun portion of the Memorial Day 1997 weekend), and one $60 million+ opening (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, with a $64 million Fri-Sun weekend take). There had only been a handful of $50 million weekends, and they were pretty much all from the biggest of big franchise pictures. Jurassic Park ($50 million, including Thurs-night sneaks), Batman Forever ($53 million), Independence Day ($50 million), Men in Black ($51 million), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me ($54 million), Toy Story 2 ($57 million), X-Men ($54 million), Mission: Impossible 2 ($57 million), and How The Grinch Stole Christmas ($55 million). Of those nine weekends, three of them had occurred in 2000. So getting to $50 million was a reasonable objective if you were one of the biggest franchises around. But 2001 was the year when everything went nuts. Back in the day, I still talked with my father about box office with him on a somewhat regular basis. That slowed down over the years, as we found arguably more important things to talk about and he started just reading my blog. I distinctly remember the phone call to my father on Saturday morning, May 5th of 2001. The Mummy Returns had just opened with $24 million on its first Friday, and I knew right then that, in terms of box office, nothing was going to be the same.

      The first warning that we were about to enter an era of opening weekend madness came in February, when Hannibal, the R-rated sequel to Silence of the Lambs (opening ten years later to the weekend) opened with an astonishing $58 million. Even without Jodie Foster reprising her Oscar-winning turn as Clarice Starling, the critically-savaged horror picture pulled off the third-biggest three-day debut in history. That was a long-awaited sequel to an all-time classic, a bit of prestige genre that was arguably the holy grail for adult moviegoers. But just three months later, as summer started in early May, we had a near miss of unthinkable proportions. By near-miss, I mean that The Mummy Returns, a moderately well-reviewed sequel to a generally-liked horror/adventure film, opened with $68.1 million in its first three days. That included a jaw-dropping $24 million on its first Friday, a record at the time. Here was an early-May curtain raiser, a sure-to-be-popular but not particularly noteworthy franchise picture that had out-grossed the Fri-Sun take of The Phantom Menace (you remember… the most anticipated movie ever?).

      And just like that, the floodgates were open. No longer did you have to be a Star Wars film, a Batman picture, or a Jurassic Park adventure to reach the top heights of opening weekends. Just two weeks later, Pearl Harbor pulled in $75 million over four days, $59 million of that during the Fri-Sun portion, and pundits were actually calling it a disappointment! But that wasn’t the last shock of the summer season. In mid-July, the seemingly unasked-for Jurassic Park III pulled in $50 million in the Fri-Sun portion of its five-day opening weekend. But while unexpected, it was at least reasonable considering how popular the franchise had been up to then. But the genuine change that was in the air was cemented over the next two weekends. Leading up to its late-July release, Fox was probably hoping that Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes would open big enough to cross $100 million in ten days, give or take. After all, Planet of the Apes was not exactly a sci-fi franchise on the box office level of Star Wars. And while Tim Burton was indeed a marquee filmmaker, he had only recently recovered his clout with Sleepy Hollow. Here was a $100 million franchise ‘re-imagining’ (more on that in a later essay) helmed by a director whose biggest opening weekend outside the Batman series was said $30 million Sleepy Hollow opening.

      Fox could have just as easily ended up with the $8.9 million that Mars Attacks! opened with in Christmas 1996. With a relatively bland and untested leading man (Mark Walhberg) and a watchable-but-not inspired marketing campaign, I was sure the film was going to, if not ‘flop’, not exactly reach blockbuster heights. After all, I personally would have had no interest in the film if not for my Tim Burton fandom, so I presumed the rest of the general moviegoers felt the same way. A three-day gross of $68.5 million proved me very wrong, again coming within $3.5 million of breaking the three-day opening weekend record. Most audiences hated the film, but it ended up with $180 million in domestic grosses and $362 million worldwide (it was also a rare case of a studio realizing their luck by not going for a sequel). Just a week later, Rush Hour 2, the apparently much-anticipated sequel to the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker sleeper hit of 1998, opened with $67 million, doubling the $33 million opening of the first picture. Like Austin Powers 2, Rush Hour 2 proved that a sequel to a popular word of mouth hit had the capacity to explode out of the gate on opening weekend, but $67 million?!

      And that’s just the near-record breakers. Summer 2001 also gave us The Fast and the Furious, a film that looked like a cheap drive-in knock off that ended up opening to $40 million in June of 2001. Sad confession: when I first saw the trailer, I thought it was one of those ‘don’t talk during the movies’ fake previews that Regal Cinemas was putting out at the time. Tomb Raider pulled in $47 million in its debut just a week prior. And of course, the year came to its climax with the twin monsters that were Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (both trend setters in their own ways, but I digress…) The latter opened with a massive $47 million over Fri-Sun and $75 million over five days, which was easily the biggest December opening in history (Ocean’s 11 had broken that same record just a week prior with $38 million). And of course Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone smashed the opening weekend record to pieces by grossing a colossal $90 million in the pre-Thanksgiving weekend, becoming the first film to gross over $30 million in one day (doing it Friday AND Saturday). And what’s scariest about the number is how not surprising it was. Everyone expected the much-anticipated first chapter to break the 4.5 year old record set by The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

      At the start of 2001, there were just eleven films that had opened to $50 million or more. There were eight such films added to that list in 2001 alone. Ten years later, I still don’t know why three seemingly run-of-the-mill summer entries came within a few million of breaking the Fri-Sun opening weekend record. I still don’t know why 2001 is the year when the $60 million+ opening became a plausible goal for any given summer picture. Just a year later, Spider-Man would (shockingly) break the $100 million mark and Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones would be on the defensive for merely grossing $80 million over its Fri-Sun weekend. Two years later, 2 Fast 2 Furious would open with over $50 million, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle would get slammed for merely opening with $38 million, and we’d be debating whether or not the $62 million opening weekend of Ang Lee’s Hulk was a success. Last year we had debates on whether or not the $128 million opening weekend of Iron Man 2 merited praise and I was personally expressing disappointment (misguided as it may be) that Toy Story 3 ‘only’ opened to $109 million. Maybe it was audience demographics or severe (and unnoticed) inflation, but something changed that summer of 2001.

      The promise (threat?) of a film becoming a massive smash hit purely through the strength of those first few days became a genuine reality twelve years after Batman pulled it off back in 1989. We now sit here ten years later having an actual debate over whether Thor’s Fri-Sun opening of $65.7 million (the 18th-biggest non-sequel/reboot debut ever) is a success or a failure. The monster opening weekends that used to make this game surprising and fun have become the new standard quo, all-too predictable and more inductive of over-saturated marketing than actual audience interest. Batman was the first of its kind in 1989, but it was the summer of 2001 that truly ushered in the era of the monster opening weekend. The mega opening weekend was now possible for pretty much any big studio genre film that had the money and know-how to market accordingly. Everyone could now have their $60 million+ opening weekend. And, as we all know, when everyone is special, no one is.


  10. I posted this blog on USENET/Google Groups:

    One person boldly proclaimed to me to “crosspost to alt.horror at my own risk. The reason why I “cross-posted” to that particular group is because Brendan Fraser starred in the “Mummy” films (which could be considered horror movies or at least, they were initially conceived as horror movies) and “Gods and Monsters” about the director of “Frankenstein”. Hell, even “Monkeybone” can be considered a horror movie of sorts.


  11. Actors and actresses you’re suprised didn’t become bigger stars:

    Brendan Fraser. Now you are probably thinking to yourself “but that guy is a big star!” and yes, I agree. He works all the time. But he seems to be stuck in kids’ adventure movie roles. I was convinced he was going to become a MEGAstar, like a Brad Pitt level A list box office draw. I’m still confused that he isn’t.

    I don’t understand why he doesn’t do more serious film (I cannot believe I just used the phrase “serious film” in a sentence, but whatever), the kind that gets real attention from the critics … and if the guy doesn’t like drama, and I agree that he has a great comic presence, then why isn’t he doing smart comedy?


    • Why Didn’t Brendan Fraser Become a Big Star?

      The suggested topic was actually “Where Did Brendan Fraser’s Career Go Wrong?” But that topic is based on a faulty premise, i.e., that Brendan Fraser‘s career was ever right to begin with. When you look at the facts, it’s clear that while Fraser is undeniably famous and even well-liked, he never did become a big star the way we expected him to.

      And why is that? First, I blame his name. Brendan sounds too much like Brandon, and it’s hard to remember how he spells it. Plus you’ve got Fraser, which everyone wants to spell “Frasier,” and many people pronounce it that way, too. Heck, maybe that’s how Fraser pronounces it, as opposed to “Fray-zer.” I’ve never heard him say his own name. See? Already I’m giving up on him, and we haven’t even gotten past his name.

      Fraser first came to prominence in 1992, when he starred in two very different films that would set the tone for the rest of his career. One was School Ties, in which he played a Jewish kid facing anti-Semitism at a snooty boarding school in the 1950s; the other was Encino Man, in which he played an unfrozen caveman who gets found by Pauly Shore. That’s not quite as bizarre as Orson Welles starring in both Citizen Kane and the animated Transformers movie, but it’s close.

      For the next few years, it looked like Fraser was going to stay on the Encino Man path, making cameos in Pauly Shore movies and starring in the imbecilic comedy Airheads. He appeared in barely seen independent films like The Passion of Darkly Noon, Mrs. Winterbourne, and The Twilight of the Golds, but there’s no money in that.

      The money, it turns out, was in playing cartoon characters. In 1997, he starred in George of the Jungle, which allowed him to appear mostly naked and to be funny, though at least one of those ambitions is questionable. Still, audiences responded, George of the Jungle was a hit, and Fraser was on to something!

      When he co-starred in the Oscar-winning drama Gods and Monsters the following year, it was a fluke. Was he thinking of heading back down the School Ties path of intelligent dramas? Sadly, no. Instead, he starred in the silly Blast from the Past and another cartoon adaptation, Dudley Do-Right, along with the ludicrous action spectacle The Mummy.

      More cartoons followed: He appeared alongside animated characters in Monkeybone and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and with lots more CGI in The Mummy Returns. Tucked away in the midst of all that nonsense was another good drama, The Quiet American, for which he received favorable reviews but not much box office. And so it goes.

      You can see the logic in forsaking small, interesting films in favor of large, dumb ones if the latter choice earns you more street cred. The thing is, except for the Mummy films, almost everything Fraser has done since George of the Jungle has been a flop. If you’re going to appear in movies that nobody sees, shouldn’t they at least be good movies that nobody sees?

      And that’s been the story of Brendan Fraser’s career: not quite a major blockbuster star, but not quite an indie fave, either. He’s gotten stuck with the worst of both worlds.

      Fraser’s been lying low for a while, but now he’s back in not one but two action spectacles: Journey to the Center of the Earth, a 3D adventure opening this week, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, due in August. This type of thing is fine, but if you’ve seen him do real acting in The Quiet American or Gods and Monsters (or even the ridiculous Crash), you know he’s capable of more. What if he had stuck with that path after School Ties? Would he be an Oscar-winning actor now, an A-list star headlining serious dramas? We’ll never know. Two roads diverged in a wood, and he took the one most people take. And that has made all the difference.


    • Brendan Fraser is a Sagittarius, as far as Astrological Signs go, he is late bloomer.
      His sense of adventure and his freedom loving nature will be with him for a while…
      Well, for for now anyway, be happy with more kids films : )

      You said you wanedt more serious roles, you’ll get your due, but you’ll need a wee bit of patience,
      Maturity takes time.
      No worries..


  12. Fraser seems, again, an odd choice for this series. His only success has been in moron roles, which make up a huge chunk of his filmography (so much so that he once participated in a joke ad about this on IFC–his sole great screen appearance). What the hell happened to him? Nothing, really. He’s basically a zero who became… zero.


    • But there was a time when he was expected to be an A-list leading man. So much so that Hollywood kept gambling on him and losing.

      Admittedly, Fraser was never A-list. But after George of the Jungle and The Mummy, he was really close. A lot of times, I’m interested in the near misses as much as I am the ones who reigned at the box office and fell from grace. There’s only so many Val Kilmers out there.


  13. The Huffington Post has apparently jumped on the “what the hell happened to Brendan Fraser” bandwagon:


  14. I always kind of liked Fraser and have enjoyed many of his roles. Blast from the Past, With Honors, the Quiet American and the first two Mummy movies were pretty good flicks. Bedazzled was decent enough too. I also agree that his Scrubs appearances were quite good. I always felt he suffered from being a little wooden and stiff however. Even his goofy comedic roles seem a bit forced. And if you want the very definition of an actor mailing in a performance watch the third Mummy movie…simply awful. He was there for the paycheck. Still he is certainly not the worst actor that has been profiled here, and I agree we probably haven’t seen the last of him. Whether he gets another lead or is consigned to supporting roles remains to be seen. Either way I enjoy watching him and will give the guy a chance. I think it’s probably correct to say he never achieved top tier, A list status, but rather was/is a respectable working actor.


  15. Whatever Happened to Brendan Fraser?:

    There was a time, not that long ago, when Brendan Fraser pulled eight-figure paychecks, earning $10 million for the ill-fated remake of Bedazzled and $12.5 million for the sequel The Mummy Returns. Now he’s been reduced to voicing astronaut “Scorch Supernova” in the awful-looking animated flick Escape from Planet Earth (opening Friday), and his latest live-action vehicle, the Irish heist farce Stand Off, was quietly dumped on VOD a few weeks ago. Where did it all go wrong?

    Considering his breakthrough role was as a caveman alongside Pauly Shore in Encino Man, Fraser had a pretty good run. Although he struck out with the seemingly surefire Albert Brooks baseball comedy The Scout, he scored a couple of surprise hits with George of the Jungle and The Mummy and acquitted himself well opposite two of Britain’s best actors—Ian McKellan and Michael Caine—in Gods and Monsters and The Quiet American, respectively. But even before he costarred in a genuine Best Picture winner, 2004′s Crash, his career had started to veer off course with too many big, dumb family-comedy flops (Dudley Do-Right, Monkeybone).

    Suddenly, his attempts at edgy indie movies (The Last Time, The Air I Breathe) were barely getting released, and his big-budget films (Inkheart) were bleeding red ink. True, 2008′s Journey to the Center of the Earth dug up enough cash to generate a sequel, but Fraser was replaced on last year’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island by Dwayne Johnson. It’s not the first time Fraser has seen one of his franchises Rocked—the Mummy movies launched the ex-wrestler’s career, spinning him off as The Scorpion King. And now Johnson’s taken command of the G.I. Joe series, while Fraser’s character from the original, Sgt. Stone, is nowhere to be seen.

    Fraser really hit Rock bottom in 2010 with the twin turkeys Extraordinary Measures (a CBS Films release that looked like it should be a disease-of-the-week TV-movie, if not for the presence of Harrison Ford) and Furry Vengeance (in which he battled woodland creatures). He should’ve learned his lesson about not interacting with cartoonish critters with 2003′s daffy dud Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

    Now Fraser’s star power is vanishing faster than his hair. Stand Off—generically retitled from the original, even worse Whole Lotta Sole—casts him as an American who flees to Ireland and is taken hostage after a fish-market robbery goes bad. The film stinks worse than seafood left out in the sun. It’s hard to believe cowriter-director Terry George is the same man behind In the Name of the Father and Hotel Rwanda, although at least those two had more laughs than Stand Off.

    Fraser doesn’t look to reverse his professional free-fall anytime soon. He dropped out as the lead of TNT’s drama pilot Legends (and was replaced by Game of Thrones casualty Sean Bean). His upcoming feature slate doesn’t look too promising, unless you think the long-delayed The Legend of William Tell in 3D is bound to hit a box-office bull’s-eye (I don’t). Even the Mummy franchise is being rebooted without him. Looks like it may be time to embalm his movie career.


    • Brendan Fraser Blaming Talent Agency for Terrible Career:

      Brendan Fraser has decided to leave WME after six years with the talent agency, hoping to find another agency that will be able to get him better acting gigs.

      Fraser’s last big film was “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” back in 2008, which grossed $400 million worldwide but was trashed by critics and fans. After that “Inheart,” “Extraordinary Measure” and “Furry Vengeance” all lost money.

      And his recently part in the Broadway production of “Elling” ended two weeks ago, just after nine performances.

      Many believe that part of the problem is that Fraser still sees himself as a major Hollywood star. After starring in “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which grossed $242 million worldwide, Fraser was offered the chance to return for the sequel. But he turned it down after New Line refused to pay him more money.

      Question: Do you think Brendan Fraser can become a major star again?


      • Answer Part 1)

        I hope you realize that that was the year that he was divorced from Afton Smith. Did you ever think that may have affected his Hollywood earning power, not that that matters to you or the $$$ guys, but think about?. That was when things stared to change for BF. This is when he was starting to look at being able to produce and get out of the corporate structure, again to have more freedom of license to create roles that not only he like but that the public would want to see and done in such a way that wasn’t limiting.
        Again trying to climb out of the corporate kaka.

        Though, the issue here is not the corporate crappola, which it seems Mr. Terrence Clay is hell bent on downing BF with. They are empty hollow reports on $ facts a lone. Lists alone with not much else to round it out. Obviously not understanding the real story. Most critics don’t. I will have to say in defense, again of BF and with other actors that take a risks. Hollywood doesn’t like risks and BF it seems wants to take risks on their dime, which is understandable, but If you were to see his journey on a human level. This is all par for the course for BF, but not the corporates agenda.

        I’m sure that you get my perspective, but I am not on the side of the media nor the corporates. In the end, I am against these so called negatively presented lists, they can’t hold against his fans.

        Terence find some real integral fan sites or even those of his peers. What do they say of him> Then post those…But instead you seem hell bent on a negative list of silly empty corporate facts about the almighty $, but that isn’t the whole truth. it is a limited perspective, a one sided one.

        Terrence make this discussion board more interesting, give an alternate view point, not just the articles and “only from ” other dim witted perspectives, When do we get to here yours?

        Say something in your own words?

        Answer Part 2)

        Yes I feel that BF will again become a star. Will it be much like Robert Downy Jr., doing franchises?
        Robert Downy Jr. has incorporated his humor into his roles, and yes we do enjoy his antics and the rousing effects it has on us. Downy went through hell, I believe this gave him a different prospective then the one he had before he went into rehab. Okay, what am I saying, I do believe that BF will make a comeback, but he will do it on his own terms, and this is what I will find interesting, it will give that which he is coveting, the creative license on his own terms. Can’t wait!

        Oh, just to add, Harrison Ford is doing the same as BF. Not many old aged roles these days out there so he’s gone into producing, again like Fraser, (Those two must have had a yak together over a beer or two one day hmmmmmm!). BF can have a role for himself and guide the film to the eloquence and quality that it deserves.
        Again I rest my case here.

        Hollywood has become a place of just $$$$. It has lost it’s gilded glamor. Well, for a long time already, the ability to create really high quality films has gone out of its head lights. More then less now there are tons of Film Festivals outside Hollywood money and it’s limiting structure. Like one Robert Redford started all those years ago, Ever wonder why he did that? Again same issue as BF, he wanted to make great films without having to cow tow to the corporates that limited his abilities and in the end create great films that we wanted to see.

        Sundance and the like, are now many, all over the world.
        This is where I feel films are now getting noticed. Look at the film Sugarman, academy award winner. Made by a director that did most of his own work for 5 years before he got any funding. In the end, only because, he had done most of the work himself, before presenting it to corporate heads, that would help the director finish the film.

        I personally have high hopes for Fraser and I know that the quality of his acting is there.
        Give BF the time that he needs to create that for himself and us. It ain’t that easy out there in the corporate crappola world……


        • Why are you bringing up my name Nessie, as if I have a personal “bone to pick” w/ Brendan Fraser!? Just because, I’ve been on the look out for discussions that further “bolster” or embellish the whole point of the discussion!? By this logic, shouldn’t you be complaining or calling out LeBeau, since it’s his blog and he was the one who first ask, “What the hell happened to Brendan Fraser”!?


        • Last post to Terence: If you posted something positive rather then 99% negative I ‘wouldn’t’ have called you out, and Lebeau is not the culprit here, it the negativity that is the culprit, has been my stance all along… If what you posted represented anything that resembled both sides of the coin, then yes I would would not be with words on here…That’s the way of it as I see it. Lastly, I have the right to back up a human being for his positive attributes, even if you wish to continue with contrived rubbish from slanderous media sources I will not stop you. I will say this, the slander about him is mostly media hype and the real man, as a human being does, not deserve this… You are left alone in your negativity, but at least I have aired out my side of the viewpoint and well enough I might add to say later dude.


        • Well said Nessie, I’m glad you drew a nice distinction between the WTHH columns and the barrage of links that often get posted in response. I don’t even read the negative gossip stuff. They get deleted immediately. I know how to use Google if that’s what I was interested in reading.

          Besides, those who like to engage in constant mudslinging shouldn’t be surprised if their hands get dirty once in a while.


    • 10 Actors Who Are Box Office Poison:

      3. Brendan Fraser

      Notable Flops: The Air I Breathe ($2.5m against $10m), Inkheart ($62.4m against $60m), Extraordinary Measures ($15m against $31m), Furry Vengeance ($36.2m against $35m), Escape from Planet Earth ($70.7m against $40m).

      The question that first arises when thinking of Brendan Fraser – at least for me – is…when did we actually like this guy? Alright, California Man has some charm, I liked George of the Jungle as a child, and the first Mummy film was passably entertaining, but is it really much of a surprise that the guy’s box office profile has dive-bombed in recent years?

      He’s certainly made at least one poor business choice in not returning for Journey 2, which ended up being a substantially bigger hit than the original (perhaps as a result of Fraser being replaced by Dwayne Johnson, mind).

      Upcoming Projects: He’s also taken a role in the aforementioned animated flick The Nut Job, which while his best bet, will likely be a modest success at most. Basically, his career is on the edge, just about ready to plunge into the abyss.


      • Really, I guess you don’t like Brendan Fraser very much. I think you ‘need’ to see that the box office is the poison.

        As for the Nut Job, my daughter can’t wait!
        Again, the animals and funny Brendan Fraser. It has always been about the fans who love him carry him through……
        Who cares about the box office.


    • Celebs (Answers) > Lifestyle > 8 Stars Whose Time in the Limelight is Fading:
      Brendan Fraser

      Fraser had a way of endearing himself to audiences in any role he played, and that adaptability served him well throughout the heyday of his career with films like “The Mummy” and “George of the Jungle.” However, that versatility has proven to be a hindrance because he can’t be categorized into one type of role. As a result, he is fading from Hollywood memory, which is a shame, because like him or not, he was a “movie star.”


  16. 10 actors who tried to bounce back from a flop:

    The Flop: Monkeybone

    Henry Selick is a director who, for this writer’s money, rarely gets the credit he deserves. Firstly, he’s rarely recognised as the man who actually directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, but also, his film of James And The Giant Peach was something really quite special too. Here’s hoping Coraline works out and puts him firmly on the map where he belongs.

    That said, he took some flack for the box office disappointment – and that’s putting it kindly – of Monkeybone, which in retrospect was a strange kind of film for a studio to spend $75m on. Its US box office take didn’t make it to $6m, and it never even made it to the big screen in the UK.

    Its star, Brendan Fraser, had been riding high at the time, off the back of The Mummy and the early, quite brilliant George of the Jungle. Monkeybone was his first bona fide bomb, though, but his filmic response was interesting. He was also at work on the Mummy sequel, which hit big, and he also signed up to be part of the Crash ensemble. With a well-chosen role in The Quiet American too, he kept his credentials bubbling along, which left him perfectly placed for a third Mummy adventure and the 3D film Journey To The Center Of The Earth, both of which grossed $100m in the US in 2008. He might not be quite at the level he was at ten years ago, but wise choices have kept Fraser very much in the game.

    Career status: ticking along nicely.


  17. “Encino Man” was on TV recently. I tried to watch it. Brendan Fraser was the only redeeming element. Even so gave up about halfway through.


  18. The Billion-Dollar Cro-Magnon Man?:

    Subject: Brendan Fraser, 41-year-old Canadian-American actor

    Date of Assessment: January 22, 2010

    Positive Buzzwords: Amiable, deadpan, cartoonish

    Negative Buzzwords: Hairplugs, hairplugs, Crash

    The Case: Ever since Brendan Fraser checked out the fresh nugs and wheezed the juice as Linkovich Chomofsky in 1992’s Encino Man, my opinion of the fellow hasn’t changed all that much. Over the years, Fraser’s been in a lot of horribly craptastic movies and, for each and every one of them, he deserves to be kicked mercilessly in the balls a few hundred times. Even worse, rumor has it that Paul Haggis, the director of that notorious Oscar-winning atrocity otherwise referred to as “Crash,” was only able to secure financing after Fraser signed onto the project, so it can be said that, without Fraser, there may very well have been no Crash. At this point, one cannot be blamed for wanting to time-travel back to the pre-Crash era to reach down Fraser’s throat and pull his balls upwards through his mouth before kicking them mercilessly. Let’s face it — at one point or another, we’ve all wondered why Brendan Fraser is still kicking around in Hollywood. Well, there’s one simple explanation: many of this guy’s movies enter blockbuster territory by making a crapload of money. And yes, that’s something that deserves at least a little bit of respect.

    Now, this is gonna be painful, but let’s look at he the cold, hard data, folks… Fraser’s films have grossed a collective $1.2 billion domestically and $2.5 billion worldwide. (Source: The Numbers). Specifically, here are the worldwide grosses for a few of his individual movies: George of the Jungle, $174 million; The Mummy, $416 million; The Mummy Returns, $433 million; The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer, $398 million; Journey to the Center of the Earth, $241 million; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, $301 million. Of course, he’s had a few obligatory clunkers that haven’t been so lucrative: Airheads, Dudley Do-Right, and Looney Tunes: Back In Action; but he’s also done some real acting in dramatic films: School Ties, Gods and Monsters, and The Quiet American. However, we now realize that such small (and relatively critically acclaimed) dramas are not the typical projects that Fraser chooses.

    Nowadays, Fraser has found his niche, and these movies of his — Encino Man, George of the Jungle, and The Mummy — are essentially live-action cartoons and can be seen as larger-scale, bigger-budget B-flicks. In fact, Brendan Fraser has nearly become a parody of himself in a larger-than-life, cartoonish sort of way as a floppy-haired (hairpiece alert!) hero; a self-deprecating halfwit, who is willing to wear only a loincloth and is powered by an ironic, tongue-in-cheek bravura. As such, it’s almost impossible to hate this guy, for Fraser’s affable charisma is the rare type that results when an actor does the following: (1) Doesn’t take himself that seriously; (2) Appears quite often in stupid adventure films but isn’t nearly as annoying as Nicholas Cage; (3) Remains scandal-free and, thus, family-friendly and able to pull off well-meaning hero types.

    Fraser is also undeniably adept at reacting to CGI effects in front of a green screen. Hell, it’s virtually a spectator sport to watch him defeat prehistoric sabre-toothed fish, gigantic man-eating plants, and the occasional Tyrannosaurus Rex. Quite simply, Fraser gives good popcorn movies that don’t pretend to be anything else. These movies may be short on comprehensible dialogue and utterly predictable, but it’s hard to deny that, to a lot of people, these escapades are sheer fun at the theater. Fraser knows that these are the types of films within which audiences will pay to see him, and where there’s box-office success, there’s money in the bank for daddy. Finally, he doesn’t resent his place in Hollywood and moan about wanting to be a serious actor. Nope, Fraser knows the game, he’s willing to play it, and he doesn’t pretend not to do so. Quite simply, he’s a commodity but no more so than Vince Vaughn, Tom Cruise, or Jennifer Aniston. Overall, Brendan Fraser generally comes off as an amiable fellow with pretty decent comic timing, and he’s not a bad-looking bloke at all, so he’s become the go-to-guy for inserting some easygoing humor and subtle goofy physicality to what would otherwise be entirely ridiculous films. Can you imagine Nic Cage fighting gigantic piranhas and swinging from vines without being utterly serious about it all?

    Now for a few drawbacks… Frasier shouts a lot in his roles, and he could stand to cut this shit out, but, admittedly, it is sort of funny when he goes from The Mummy to something like Journey to the Center of the Earth, where real-life actors are on the receiving end of said shouting. Also, we also must accept that, in all of Fraser’s movies, the dude’s gonna pretend to have great hair, but he will invariably attend all press conferences and photocalls looking like astroturf personified. Such is Hollywood life.

    Prognosis: Extraordinary Measures looks depressing as hell and, as a January release, must not have earned too much studio-based confidence. With Furry Vengeance in his future, not even Fraser’s persona may not be able to escape obnoxiousness, but he can also easily recover with the planned Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel. Further, his proven ability (such as it is) to react to special effects may very well lend Fraser a future in the next Roland Emmerich film. If all else fails, he could always launch another career as spokesperson for the Hair Club for Men.


  19. i worked with Brendan Fraser in inkheart in italy, he was very rude with the public, he took no time to take photos with the families waiting outside in the very cold winter nights whereas Paul Bettany, Andy Serkis and others did so without any problems. He had a heavy scuffle whereby he retaliated hitting an italian extra in the chest, for no reason, i saw the whole thing, the poor little italian guy didnt understand a word of what was going on, the director was screaming at him to keep pushing Brendan harder to make the scene realistic whereupon Brendan shocked everyone striking this guy on the ground. All the italian extras got very angry and as a result started pushing Brendan around insulting him in fact he got kicked by one of the extras. It was very disappointing, many families were disappointed, as well as some of the crew. Put Bluntly, overall attitude on set, i think he’s an agressive jerk


    • Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. That is very disappointing to hear.


      • yeh, im not a kid but at the time i felt like i was in candyland. I had the luck with all my contacts I had in the local area to create adhesives with phrases written out of the book, they Were laser cut wITh the font that Cornelia funke used in her book, we stuck it on everybodys faces then sprayed paint to form the words on peoples heads. Then luckily i wAS personal trainer to Iain Softley plus another producer so lets say i was on the set for 6 weeks from 5am to 7pm at night. You get a fairly broad perspective of what happens on set and it wAS fun talking to Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Paul Bettany, and Andy Serkis, as I said they wERe really relaxed with the extras on the film set so we were really disappointed in general with Brendans attitude. i dunno maybe he was havin a bad month. Nevertheless, people shd take care of their public image, i believe what goes around comes around. Did the stories in the 90s of Brendans Brother was a guy without a job and slept on the streets? Apparently Brendan never helped him out? It was on the tabloids years back


        • Sounds like karma did come back around. Ouch!


        • Having bad year, understatement!.
          Divorce will do that to a man, especially when there are $$$ involved and they are being taken away from you unfairly, Hell, I would not be in great mood to say the least.

          Aside, we are all human,even actors and we are most definitely not all perfect, we do have bad days, months or even years……..


    • BRENDAN FRASER Sued for Allegedly Battering Movie Producer:

      5:55 PM PT: Fraser’s lawyer, Marty Singer, tells TMZ, “This is a ridiculous and absurd claim by Mr. Moyer. He’s desperately trying to avoid the monies that he guaranteed to pay to Brendan — more than $2 million — and has concocted this claim. He recently just put his company into bankruptcy. This is just another desperate attempt by him to avoid paying his debt.”

      Brendan Fraser unleashed TWO physical attacks on one of the producers of a movie he is set to star in … so says the producer who is now suing the movie star … TMZ has learned.

      The man who filed the suit is Todd Moyer — one of the producers on the movie “The Legend of William Tell” … a movie that has been in the works since 2011.

      In his suit, Moyer claims he was hanging out at the Hilton Hotel in Indianapolis on July 27, 2011 … when an “intoxicated” Brendan Fraser began to “physically push, verbally threaten and poke [Moyer] in the chest repeatedly.” Moyer doesn’t specify what led to the alleged attack.

      But six months later … on January 31, 2012 … Moyer says Fraser struck again — this time during a meeting about the movie at the offices of Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

      According to Moyer, Fraser demanded that Moyer hire a producer named Charlotte Huggins to work on “Tell” … but Moyer refused. That’s when Fraser allegedly went nuts — screaming threats and striking Moyer in the chest at least 20 times.

      Moyer said he suffered extreme mental anguish and physical pain — and wants at least $25k in damages.

      Fun Fact — Fraser sued Moyer back in May … claiming Moyer has bungled the film … causing delays that forced Fraser to pass up other work. Fraser is demanding more than $3 million in damages. That case is still ongoing.


  20. 20 Film Stars You Definitely Won’t Remember In 20 Years:

    19. Brendan Fraser

    Oh how the future looked bright for Brendan Fraser when he starred in The Mummy. But then he started doing terrible family films and now no one wants to touch him with a barge pole.

    Looney Tunes: Back In Action was a horrible film, and that had the help of an established brand (and Space Jam. SPACE JAM). Fraser has had very few hits outside of anything not related to pyramids and Egypt, and I can’t imagine The Mummy being brought back over and over again so he can indulge in a bit of nostalgia.

    Speaking of his terrible family films, he actually hasn’t done one (acting wise, not voice roles) for a while. But he hasn’t done anything for a while. He’s fading into obscurity already, so he doesn’t stand a chance at being remembered in 20 years time.


  21. Maybe he actually just enjoys doing comedy and having a laugh everyday? Ever thought that there’s more to life than being an A lister? A days work is a days work, but I’d rather spend it laughing.


    • It doesn’t sound like Fraser is living a carefree life these days with all his alimony woes.

      And of course there’s more to life than being an A-lister. If I have learned one thing from WTHH it’s that all of the actors I have covered so far continue working long after they drop off the A-list.

      That doesn’t make talking about their rise and fall any less interesting.


  22. yep exactly, and all these definitions are fluid anyway. There can be A listers as in, Oscar gold, and not everyone reading will even remember who they are. or, some actors are constantly working yet not A list… someone like Paul Rudd, look how many movies he is in but I don’t think of him as A list movie opener, unless he is paired with an A list female lead.

    Look at the recent example of Nicole Kidman, A list all the way but no longer the white hot star. This is what Hollywood does! Reese Witherspoon will show up in one of these columns eventually, I bet.. Soeaking of Reese, I LOVED the movie from a year or so ago where she had to choose between Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson… (sure wish I had her problems).. but it didn’t do so well box office. Probably enjoyed second life in DVD.

    It is definitely interesting and part of what makes this so interesting is that people will have very different reactions.


    • What exactly it means to be A-list is really hard to define. I am always having discussions about who is or is not A-list. Also, the A-list doesn’t mean what it used to. I have seen some people argue there is no longer any such thing as an A-list. I still think there is, but A-listers are a lot more vulnerable than ever before. Audiences care more about the concept of the movie than who is in it.

      Paul Rudd is a good example. He’s a very talented guy and I always like to see him in movies. He has had and will continue to have a long career. But in no way is he A-list. The same could be said of Owen Wilson for that matter.

      Reese Witherspoon will be added to the poll very soon. I expect to write her up in the next couple of months. I wish I had written her up before she got arrested!

      The differing opinions is part of what makes the comments section so interesting.


      • Time will tell. I think Witherspoon was fading anyway. When was her last hit? Off the top, I don’t recall. I think she has done the right thing by getting out there and apologizing for her ridiculous behavior. My guess is her fans will forgive her.But even if they do, her fan base is shrinking and she can’t keep continuing to make rom-coms indefinitely.


  23. 10 Awesome Performances From Usually Terrible Actors:

    9. Brendan Fraser – Gods and Monsters (1998)

    Apart from guilty pleasure The Mummy, Brendan Fraser hasn’t had a very lucky career. Furry Vengeance, Bedazzled and Inkheart are no-one’s idea of classic cinema, with Fraser mugging his way through all of them as little more than dumb eye candy. Which is a shame, because Gods and Monsters offers so much more from Fraser, giving a hint at what he could have been had he not resigned himself to the shortest career path in Hollywood.

    In Bill Condon’s biopic of Frankenstein director James Whale, Fraser plays gardener Clay Boone opposite Ian McKellen’s renowned homosexual and Hollywood outcast Whale. There’s a surprising amount of depth to Mr. Fraser in Gods and Monsters, his mix of confused rage and naive, wounded sensitivity clearly a tricky one to navigate. It’s hard to imagine many actors being able to pull it off, but somehow it’s George of the jungle that manages it, holding his own against Ian McKellen in his finest screen performance.


    • Brendan Fraser is not “usually terrible”. I swear, this guy loves his lists. They are usually nonsense.


    • 10 Great Film Ideas Utterly Wasted On Terrible Actors:

      5. School Ties – Brendan Fraser

      I studied history in college, so I can appreciate a film that explores issues of anti-Semitism in American boarding schools, the WASP meccas of the world. It was definitely an ugly, pervasive problem that most people were willing to completely sweep under the rug and never speak about. But for the life of me, I don’t understand why it needed to be Brendan Fraser.

      Don’t get me wrong, Fraser’s your guy if you need action or goofy comedy. Need to fight a mummy? Absolutely. But this kind of historical drama requires a defter hand. He just can’t pull off the more serious moments, and the “COWARDS!” scene out in the rain is cringe-worthy and all kinds of lame. This movie deserved to be made, and it really deserved to have a better leading man.


  24. “Blast From the Past” was on last night. I have to say, Fraser nailed that character so well!


  25. I think you forgot his brief stint in Scrubs as Jordan’s brother, in probably the most heart-breaking episode of the series, My Screwup


  26. This is so sad I was just watching the mummy and I asked myself what happened to Brendan Fraser, and while I was reading, I felt horrible, what a same, He is soo good, so talented, I remember I was a little girl when I watched the mummy and George in the Jungle for the first time, and I fell inlove with him. Come back Brendan you are amazing !!


    • No you’ve got me feeling bad to be the bearer of bad news. I have to think Fraser’s current situation will turn around. There has to be a solution to his current financial woes. I don’t think he’ll ever be a Hollywood leading man again. Especially since they are rebooting The Mummy franchise without him. But I think there is lots of work for him in independent films and supporting roles.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!



    nstead of a traditional review, I felt it was more appropriate to respond to the cinematic tragedy, Furry Vengeance, with a eulogy in honor of Brendan Fraser’s career.
    Brendan Fraser’s career (BFC) was born in 1991 in a 30-minute short film entitled My Old School. It was a time filled with war in the Middle East and the announcement of Johnny Carson’s departure from The Tonight Show. They were sad times indeed, but a shimmer of hope was on the horizon.

    From there, Fraser’s career landed the actor a few minor roles including “John’s friend” in Child of Darkness, Child of Light and “Sailor #1” in Dogfight, but it wasn’t until the 1992 Pauly Shore comedy, Encino Man, that gave the career a sufficient amount of screen time to stand up and shout, “Hey, me and this Indianapolis idiot are here!” It was a bold move for the career, but when the lines of dialogue include such brilliance as “Check out fresh nugs” and “Wheezin’ the juice,” how could it not?

    The risk paid off and a shower of opportunities arose for both actor and career, but BFC decided to avoid the low-brow comedic route and put its efforts in dramatic roles. It was a decision that would soon divide the two forever.

    The emotional yet forgettable School Ties and Twenty Bucks came and went without much praise from critics. Not even a hobo Joe Pesci was enough to salvage the production of With Honors. A rift had formed. The actor packed his belongings and gave BFC an ultimatum. Join him in the pursuit of comedy or part ways forever. Loyal and loving, BFC refused to abandon his thespian mate.

    From 1994 to 1996, the premiers of Airheads and The Scout gave promise the team’s jocular direction, but it wasn’t long before BFC noticed a change in the actor’s behavior. Greed began to cloud decision making and, within a year, the two wound up on the set of Disney’s George of the Jungle in a loin cloth that revealed just about everything, except their dignity. That was long gone. After the next embarrassing sight of Fraser in Dudley Do-Right’s Mounty uniform, BFC made a final stand and begged the actor to try his hand at an action series that involved an Egyptian mummy curse. Teary-eyed, the actor agreed.

    The Mummy was a hit! It garnered over $43 million in its opening weekend, and a sequel was already scheduled in 2001! Some called the actor the next Indiana Jones! The team was back on top and the view never looked so good. Just when all was right with the world, the actor’s hunger began to resurface, in more ways than one, and contracts for more appalling comedies were secretly signed behind BFC’s back.

    After the utter failures of Bedazzled, Monkeybone and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, the relationship between actor and career was significantly bruised. Trust no longer existed. Attempts to rekindle the situation with additional action films were made, but the damage was irreparable. The team had only mediocrity ahead of them, and they’d be lucky if they received that.

    Bloated and yearning for attention, the thoughtless actor made one final decision that would permanently end his relationship with his now battered career. He agreed to star in a family comedy about an environmentally-friendly project manager whose company is constructing homes in the unscathed Oregon wilderness and the local wildlife retaliates with furry fury. Not only was the actor forced to wear tight women’s clothing that exposed his protruding gut, Furry Vengeance also required a scene in which a raccoon urinates in Fraser’s mouth.

    At the exact moment the stream of excretion splashed on the actor’s selfish lips, Brendan Fraser’s career took its last breath and slipped away into a peaceful everlasting slumber.

    What lies in store for the actor’s future is anyone’s guess, except for the possibility of a successful profession in the film industry. That dirt road has been paved with failure.

    As I sit here and ponder about the career that could have been, I can only hope Brendan Fraser’s career can be seen as an example to the next generation of aspiring actors so its death is not in vain. However, a sensation of joy fills my body when I look toward the sky, because I know in my heart it’s up there gossiping with the careers of Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner and John Travolta.


  28. Aside corporate crappola and media know nothings, how about some human compassion for Brendan Fraser……

    I used to live down the road from where Brendan Fraser went to school in Canada. I know the type of kids that went to that school. Very upscale neighborhood, one of wealthiest in Canada at the time. School Ties was very accurate in it’s portrayal of Fraser’s experience there.

    An ardent fan I am, but, not of his good looks or his ability to satisfy Hollywood’s head honcho pocket books, I am a fan of his human journey and always interested to see what he comes up with next. Successful in the corporate business or media eyes or not, that’s not the point here.

    Films like School Ties, With Honors, the TV movie The Twilight of the Golds, Still Breathing, Gods and Monsters and The Air I Breathe add in Scrubs, these pieces are statements of the growth of spirit, what it is to be human, freedom to express, learning to love, belief in hope through faith and that there is something greater then racial hatred, prejudice and limited thinking. In two of the roles, from the films mentioned here, Fraser play’s a man with psychic and empathic abilities. Maybe Fraser is using Hollywood’s pocket books to tell a tale of real life through the roles that he willingly takes on, for good or for worse. Maybe he is on a journey where he is just willing to go where fate takes him, learning all the while for himself, through his learning to express his talent, of which there is much, he is also helping others that connect with the message that is left, there inside, the character’s journey. I do believe that this man as an actor still has much vibrant life left in him for years to come. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    Why do I say what I do? That is because he has already proven he has influenced more then one life outside of his own. It is usually indirectly and almost with out force and it’s always an ah ha moment when you figure out the nuances of the meanings therein’. It ia a personal experience between you and the actor, for whatever film you are drawn to go see. Films and their characters are in many ways like books, they tell a story. The story alines to the person reading it or in the case of a film the person seeing it. The critiques and the media are not interested in the personal experience of the people going to films, they are not even interested in the actors that portray a character for their own reasons, only how much money it makes or bad or good is this or that. Critiques get payed, they don’t care. Take look at a film like Blade Runner. Took forever to make the damn thing, rife with problems, director included. The head honchos wanted to pull the plug on the movie even before it was finished. Harrison Ford even had a miserable time, wouldn’t talk about his experience for years after… Slow start at the box office and it bombed. A financial failure at the time. It took till the time when DVDs came out before it slowly gained the cult status and recognition that it deserved. I feel it will take Brendan Fraser 5 more years and wee to become a nicely aged fine wine that we can partake of with great relish.

    Give this man a break!
    How would you feel, if you had a child with Autism (tired), had an ex wife that wanted money from you on her terms only ( exhausted) and then if you wanted to be able to have free creative license with a limiting established old system, a corporate money system that locked you into doing only what it wanted ( frustrated and very angry), I would fight too! With tooth and nail! Though, I feel he can learn from this and will eventually settle down to balancing this kind of reaction-ism into finding other ways of dealing with his anger at it all, and he will.

    Maturity takes time. Mr. Fraser is still young. Hmmmmmm what, 45 now.
    Please give him a few more years before you close the coffin, eh….
    Just my 25 cents worth, ( Sorry inflation rates )


    • I always say I appreciate passionate response. And this is probably the most impassioned comment I’ve received in a while. So, thanks.

      Your point is well taken. There are more important things in life than box office performance and Hollywood politics. It’s worth pointing that out from time to time. Having said that, it’s also outside the scope of this series.

      These articles aren’t meant to be a summation of the subject as a human being. I don’t close coffins here. The point of these articles is to offer a career retrospective. Hopefully with a few laughs. I touch on publicly known backstory of the subject, but only to the degree that it would impact the trajectory of the subject’s career (or maybe get a laugh).

      If a reader is interested in the touchy-feely stuff, there are other articles out there. People magazine offers such articles. While I appreciate the counter-balance, that’s just not what I do here.


  29. Mr. Lebeau

    I appreciate your comment above, but you are on the net and open fair game as one would have it, as you have made Brendan Fraser. I might not agree with that, but so be it. As for the touchy feely stuff, you are mistaken in the assumption that I was offended………No I just wanted to give the one sidedness of you blog another perspective, if you don’t mind.

    When you have openned a subject for discussion or review as you have, you must to allow for all views to be represented and expressed, yes?. Mine was a deeply understood and yes introspective to say the least. There was no anger here and again, I am not offended. If that is what you had thought… The writing format to express thoughts and feelings is not ideal on computers.

    In goodness of spirit, the reason why I posted here, again if you don’t mind, is because your blog, among many that I had read by the way, through my wanderings on the net from time time, was the one that I was drawn too, I ‘felt’ compelled to off a perspective. I found that there are some here that have offered a positive or defended the good character that is Brendan Fraser. I am giving them more of fair percentage. Now I have subscribed and I am still interested in seeing what other comments are posted on either side of perspective that you have presented here.

    I value that you are helping the trajectory of Fraser’s work, but in my books to push an man down when he is trying to sort things out and laugh at him because of his hardship, that doesn’t sit on well any level. Notice that Brendan Fraser never laugh at others, he only laughs at himself. He is doing all else, for the most part as he is human after all, to the best of ability to be the good guy on the Hollywood ‘star’ block,

    Many years I worked in the film industry, accidentally met J.J. Abrams, before he was famous, a regular guy. Hollywood stars are just human beings, and they have struggles like everyone else, just like you or me. So laugh at Brendan Fraser’s characters, in his films and at his antics that are not his personal domain. His burden is large at the moment.

    He has given much to us. Can we not support him in turn? Maybe by leaving a perspective from another view point and by leaving it here, hopefully some of you will notice. I suggest having a nice long think, for our world to become a better place can we not start taking stock of how we behave in it? …..

    ( Excuse me, in a really nice Canadian well mannered way.)

    The world is what we make of it………………


    • I think the confusion here is that you believe these articles are meant to “push an man down.” Having read each and every one of Lebeau’s WTHHT pieces, I can tell you that really isn’t the intention. Some subjects provide their own incriminating information, but even in those cases, the feeling here is one of affection.


    • My writing is definitely fair game. People are critical of it. I am critical of it. I’ll take criticism. When people point out mistakes, I thank them and correct them. The flip side of that is that if someone makes a criticism I feel is not valid, I’ll present my counter-argument. I’m not going to be offended by constructive criticism as you have offered. The tone here is civil.

      With that out of the way, I do want to address a few points.

      I haven’t made Fraser or anyone else fair game. They chose to become public figures. That makes them fair game. Yes, I have some fun at the expense of celebrities. Any celebrity who can’t take a gentle ribbing from a blog like mine should probably get out of the movie business.

      I didn’t assume you were offended. I’m just explaining where I an the series is coming from.

      As I said initially, I appreciate you sharing your perspective. That’s what the comments section is for. We have a very active comments section here which is one of the things I love about the site. It’s more rewarding to have conversations. If I was the only one talking, I would have lost interest before now.

      I don’t feel my article was one-sided. I present both the subjects successes and their failures. The article does have a focus and some things fall outside of that focus. I can’t write a holistic account of Fraser as a person nor am I interested in doing so. I am merely walking through his career as a movie star from humble beginnings to big time movie star to where he is today. There is sarcasm, but no agenda.

      I’m glad the sit pulled you in and I hope you stick around. I look forward to hearing your perspective on Fraser and any other subject that comes up around here. I think a lot of the people who comment here. We have rousing conversations and I do hope you’ll continue to be a part of them.

      As Daffy pointed out, there is no attempt to kick Fraser while he is down. I attempt to be as fair as I can be. Since I don’t personally know Fraser, I can’t really laugh at him as a person. I don’t think I made a joke about anything other than the movies he was in. Although I did hear he was kind of a smelly guy. 😉

      Brendan Fraser has never given me a damn thing in my life. What has he given you? He’s been in some movies. Some I have liked. Others I haven’t. He was richly compensated and I paid for the privilege to watch them. Sorry, but you’re laying it on a little thick.

      I want the world to be a utopia too. And if I thought a few snarky comments about Hollywood actors included in an article that also celebrates their achievements was in any way making the world a worse place to live, I would stop. For the children. But I don’t believe for a second that I am hurting anyone. There are far more vitriolic blogs out there than mine! At most, I give celebs an affectionate ribbing.

      As always, I wish my subjects well. I’ll give Fraser a big, virtual bro-hug and hope he gets through what I am sure are trying times for him personally.

      I am slightly curious what specifically I said about Fraser that you found to be unfair. Let me know and I will remove any comments I have made that crossed the line. Like I said, I make an effort to be as fair as I can be.

      Anyway, thanks again for speaking your peace on this one. I hope we can continue this and other discussions. Welcome to Le Blog!


      • Lebeau, you’re not the person who is ruining the world…but it is people LIKE you who are ruining the world.;-)


        • And here I always thought is was Brendan Fraser who was ruining the world. F$%k that George of the Jungle mother f$%ker.

          By the way, you and I have a lot in common. So if people like me are ruining the world, does that mean you are responsible for global warming? Think about that for a minute.


        • ha ha ha! yes, that’s exactly what I meant! Since it is not you, but people like you, that leaves me as a suspect, doesn’t it?


        • I always knew you were shady. It’s one of your best characteristics.


        • Oooch!
          She be layin’ some heavy karma on you dude…
          Hardy har har and touche!


  30. Hi Nessie, if I’m not being presumptuous, I would like to say that in defense of Lebeau he has the most fair minded, intelligent and fun entertainment blog I have ever found. As a blog host he has been consistently receptive to a lot of different perspectives. Look through all the comments sections and you will see. It’s been a blast to have all these movie conversations without getting tabloidy. A bit of snark here and there? In my opinion the humor is not mean spirited and adds to the enjoyment. If I can be so forward to offer a bit of advice, don’t expect agreement on everything. For instance, when I offer up my opinion that Matthew Broderick is God’s gift to the stage, screen and world at large, I know Lebeau isn’t going to agree with this commenter 🙂 We just agree to disagree. The blog host isn’t going to change my mind and I’m not going to influence him. Does it matter? Bottom line is you will find more enjoyable content here than anywhere.


    • Thanks as always RB. I was feeling pretty good about myself because we are having a record day here today hits wise. So I went to look to see where all the hits are coming from. Turns out the Mike Myers article is trending on Reddit because he agreed to make Austin Powers 4. Yay! So I go to Reddit to check out what’s driving all the traffic. The article has a high 70-something percent approval rating which I can live with. Can’t please everyone, right? There’s 11 comments. So, I check them out. The commenters HATE the article! I mean they hated it. Ouch. So it’s good to come back here and hear some nice words while I lick my wounds.

      And hey, I like Matthew Broderick. Not as much as you maybe, but he’s all right in my book. Love The Freshman.

      I do think we attract a higher level of commenters. Especially after the bloodbath I walked in on over at Reddit!


  31. Lebeau, it is not so much in what you write, it is more the allowing of the not so accurate stuff to slide in without due opposition or perspective..If an appropriate perspective were given with comments that are left to oppose the negativity then you would have balance of the light side of ‘The Force’ that is Brendan Fraser. ( I am on my vacation so I have the time to invest in these comments today.)

    Lebaeu, thanks for the invite and welcoming on here. I feel I may have finally found some intelligent life online ; )

    You asked what gives Brendan Fraser the privileged to be able to have your money and live high of the hog, Well I don’t quite partake of the viewpoint from that perspective, but I can tell a small story, and I”ll try to do it in point form.

    Brendan Fraser has a lot in common with my Father, I can’t quite give you all of the ‘holistic’ details but I’ll do what I to unfold the view. Hopefully you get some of understanding as to the why I have the perspective I do.

    I have a Father that looks uncannily like Brendan Fraser in his younger days, soft skin, devil may care eyes, very Sean Connery’s eyes in his older years. The charming charisma that overwhelms woman for miles around. In such a he was to be able to hook famous dancers and American tennis stars into a date. They would drool over my Father! He was born into military wealth and went to the high class schools of the day. He was a paratrooper and second lieutenant in World War 2. He traveled the world by boat, plane, train and car and was well off. Lived the high life in Istanbul,Turkey in the late 1930’s and 40s’, ( A happenin’ place back then). A time of glamor and adventure..
    The Orient Express would drop off it’s cargo of wealth on the main street of Istanbul where my Father lived. Hel he spoke 5 languages, knew how to shoot a gun or two……Hmmmmmmm, (Brenda Fraser’s character Rick O’Connell) comes to mind!!!

    It’s when you see Fraser dressed like the 1930’s with the Fedora, my Dad! I wished my Father had gone into show business. My, my was he popular. Okay, anyway, but if you know Brendan Fraser he gives us the good guys, my Father would have played the bad guys, the negative hoodlum and so on. More the self oriented ego types, more sarcasm, not the wonderful slapstick humor we have come to love and know with Brendan Fraser. My Father’s humour was very dark….(James Cagney type)

    I share a few common astrological traits with Brendan Fraser, I find them funny, weird mostly, but it does give me an insight or two into the man, That is as far as I will take it this on a personal level.

    Brendan Fraser is worth the money, of the work that he has done to give us hope as he struggles to find himself, along his own journey. We are always made happy by this actor. He is the dancing Gene Kelly, the hilariously funny Danny Key court jester or an Errol Flynn underdog hero and lastly the Johnny Weissmuller, swinging through the jungle, Tarzan. He has grace, goodness and is adventurous in spirit. His roles are always the positive, well mostly and if they are dark and brooding characters they are redeeming in the end. So far so good Brendan Fraser!

    Why we go to his films is because of his charismatic draw. He was born with the ‘abilit’y to influence our souls.
    To give inspiration for a different perspective on the flow of life and to allow us to partake in the adventure that is his this life time round, He is taking advantage of the opportunities afforded him, and you always here how thankful he is. He has worked hard since he decide to thwart his collage education in lew of a hunch that Hollywood was where he needed to be. Thank goodness, he is classically trained and all the best to him in finding what makes him happy. Because, as he works on his craft, the way he entertains is beyond the common realm of duty. He puts forth everything into his role, no matter how awful the film, and that being said, he has yet to mature as leading man, producer and maybe even director someday.

    Who knows what he is capable of, but he is capable….
    He is just transitioning at moment. So let wait and see,
    patience, people patience!.

    So there you have it, and insight or two.
    ( Thanks Dad )


    • Your dad sounds like a heck of a guy.

      If anything I wrote is inaccurate, let me know and I’ll correct it. That has always been my policy. I’ve had to make changes before and I’m more than willing to do so any time I am wrong.

      And just for the record, I don’t begrudge Fraser or anyone else their success. He’s earned what he has earned. He’s entitled to it. He just hasn’t “given” me anything. Whatever I get from his movies, I earn when I fork over my cash.

      Based on your comments, I’m less of a romantic than you are. Just ask my wife.


  32. Hey Lebeau,

    I’ll let you know. Hey thanks for being a swell dude, and for making me laugh : D

    One day I’ll tell you the story of how my Father met my Mother..
    Lets just say take Marilyn Monroe, Ingrid Bergman and Catherine Denueve
    and mold them together and well hey my Dad can really pick em!
    Oooooh la la!

    …..But that is another story for another for another day…..

    I’ll post when I can,



  33. An interview with Brendan Fraser from 2008
    I found myself soon at the end of two pages comment that was one of the most entertaining and informative I have ever come across on the net

    A ride and hoot, but so well done it had me riveted and ROFL!!!!,14267/#disqus_thread



  34. Brendan Fraser Is Broke (Crazy Days and Nights):

    Green Tara said…
    I had read several years ago somewhere (sorry, I cannot remember the source) that Brendan Fraser had pretty serious mental health issues, primarily severe bouts of depression. I have assumed since then that IF this is true, it explained why his career tanked. If true, it would also explain the “medical issues”.

    9:31 AM


    • Brendan Fraser says he’s broke:

      Brendan Fraser had a nice run there. There was a certain type of role that he excelled in, but that vogue is over. He just missed out on the superhero trend. He would have made a good Green Lantern or Flash or Captain America or something once upon a time, but he’s too old now. Somebody should have crafted a TV series for him. It’s not too late for that to happen. He could play a detective or a small-town sheriff. He might want to start doing more hard-edged roles, maybe try to do a Buford Pusser-type role. Is he still in shape? I don’t think I’ve seen him in anything since that third MUMMY movie five or so years ago.


  35. My favorite film that Brendan Fraser appered in, by far (though I like “With Honors” and “Bedazzled”), is “School Ties”. I viewed that film in the theater when I was 14, loved it, then viewed it again a few years go; still loved it. Back in the day, I never knew that many of the actors in the film would become stars (with the exception of Amy Locaine, who had a sizable part in the film “Blue Sky”, a film I have a certain amount of affection for).


  36. School Ties is definately an underrated gem. The film showed, early in Fraser’s career, that he has legitimate acting abilities. I would say to this day it remains a highlight of his career.



    Though he has been taken for granted and misused by Hollywood for years, Brendan Fraser is still a damn treasure.

    When you hear the name “Brendan Fraser,” what’s the first thing you think of? Is it the rubber-faced, tenderhearted comedian featured in films like Bedazzled or Blast From the Past? Or maybe you think of the brooding intellectual seen in movies like With Honors and School Ties? Or perhaps you fondly remember him as the loveable goofball in comedies like George of the Jungle and yes even, Dudley Do-Right? No, most likely you think of him in the present day: a middle-aged actor, fighting a paunch and hair loss, bouncing back and forth between different kid movies and “dad” roles, no longer fit for the role of “action hero.”

    And that’s a shame. Whatever your opinion of Brendan Fraser might be, there is one fact that is undeniable: he used to be a movie star. That’s right, a bondafide, and totally legit movie star. One reason that he attained this status was his incredible aptitude for sincerity that has endeared him to audiences throughout his eclectic career. In his hey day, he played roles as varied as a caveman, student (twice), rocker, athlete, war veteran (twice), millionaire set of twins, and a Canadian Mountie.

    Sure, some films were more successful than others, but Fraser’s unquestionable screen presence made them all watchable. Because of his adaptability, it is difficult to categorize Fraser in any one type of role—he looks at ease whether he’s playing a Neanderthal or a Harvard man. Ironic that this versatility has proved to be a hindrance instead of an asset in his later years.

    Perhaps Fraser would have been better suited to a different era of filmmaking. What if he had been alive during the height of screwball comedies? With his lanky frame, earnest demeanor, remarkable physicality and comedic skills, he would have been the perfect foil for actresses like Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn. Plus, he would have looked great in black and white. After the time for being a matinee idol had passed, he could have easily slipped into character work. But alas, he came of age in Hollywood during the 90s and a creature of the 90s he remains.

    During that decade, Brendan Fraser ruled, appearing in films opposite other 90s icons like Pauly Shore, Adam Sandler, Ricki Lake, Joe Pesci and Alicia Silverstone. His first major movie role was in Encino Man in which he played Link, a frozen caveman who gets de-thawed by Shore (playing a character named “Stoney”) and Sean Astin. The film could have been a disaster; instead, it was a triumph. Fraser’s child-like Link became universally beloved, so much so that he reprised this role briefly in two more movies.

    Encino Man is worth a rewatch if only for Fraser’s performance. Just watch the scene in which Link mourns for the loss of his people as he looks at remnants of his culture in the History Museum. Being completely non-verbal, Fraser must speak volumes with his eyes, and he manages to convey frustration, confusion and grief in a single glance. The moment, filled with genuine pathos, seems out of place in such an extreme comedy, but it works.

    “Perhaps Fraser would have been better suited to a different era of filmmaking. What if he had be alive during the height of screwball comedies?”

    Fraser’s next major project that year was School Ties in which he plays David, a Jewish student on a football scholarship to an elite prep school. Fraser’s co-stars include Chris O’Donnell, Anthony Rapp, Ben Affleck and, perhaps in the most villainous role of his career, Matt Damon as Charlie Dillon, a jealous anti-Semite who tries to rally classmates against David. In a field of Hollywood’s most promising stars, Fraser held his own, commanding the screen as David struggles with difficult choices—should he sacrifice his identity to gain intellectual and economic advantages. It’s hard to believe that this character is played by same actor who guzzled Slurpee’s straight from the nozzle in Encino Man.

    The mid-90s proved to be fruitful years for the Fraser as well. He starred in movies like With Honors, Airheads and The Scout, playing a variety of different and difficult roles. In The Scout, co-starring Albert Brooks and Dianne Wiest. Fraser plays Steve Nebraska, an unstable baseball prodigy who has to face his demons in order to be signed by the Yankees. Fraser’s natural athleticism, charisma and dramatic range allow him to turn in a remarkable performance.

    Other stand out roles included a small part as a nameless Vietnam veteran in in the coming-of-age drama, Now and Then. Fraser seized his moment in a memorable scene in which he briefly encounters the band of precocious young women on the road and evokes hints of dangerous sexuality and deep-seated wounds while harmlessly sharing some orange soda with the troop. In Mrs. Winterbourne, he proved himself to be a capable romantic comedies lead, playing a wealthy man who falls in love with the woman successfully posing as his twin brother’s widow. Now, how’s that for a screwball comedy plot?

    “Ironic that Fraser’s versatility has proved to be a hindrance instead of an asset in his later years.”

    In 1997, Fraser lost all his baby fat and grew out his hair to play the title role in George of the Jungle, once again playing a man of few words. Perhaps Fraser’s facility with at playing wise innocents would later make it difficult for him to be taken seriously in other roles even though his performance in a movie like Gods & Monsters (as an angry ex-veteran) demonstrates that he is capable of much more.

    In 1999, Fraser finally entered the action/adventure realm with The Mummy as Rick O’Connell, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion who gets mixed up with a comely librarian and her brother in a quest to find the lost city of Hamunaptra. They encounter many obstacles, including a very angry Mummy, and the film is one enjoyable ride. Fraser is comfortable at the helm, throwing witty banter back and forth with a relativity unknown Rachel Weisz, radiating All-American charm as he bashes heads all over Egypt.

    Then something happened. Despite solid turns in movies like Bedazzled, Crash, and The Quiet American, audiences (and Hollywood) stopped taking Brendan Fraser seriously. Critical and commercial bombs like Monkeybone and Looney Tunes: Back in Action didn’t help, of course. Two more installments of The Mummy and franchise-bait drivel like Inkheart and Journey to the Center of the Earth didn’t lead anywhere either. When he took part in one of the most ill advised movies of all times, Furry Vengeance, playing a real estate developer who is tormented by various woodland creatures, it was over!

    “Fraser still possesses his full arsenal of talents, and though he is older and not as pretty as he used to be, with age comes experience.”

    So is it possible for Fraser to reclaim some of his former glory? Absolutely. On a positive note, Fraser has become a familiar face in the indie film world, and we have had the pleasure of showing several of his films at our Festival, including Journey to the End of Night, Terry George’s Stand Off and last year’s A Case of You. He’s great in all of them. Fraser also had a successful guest stint on Scrubs, playing Dr. Cox’s free-spirited, fun-loving best friend who gets diagnosed with leukemia.

    So is anyone listening out there in Hollywood? Fraser still possesses his full arsenal of talents, and though he is older and not as pretty as he used to be, with age comes experience. His versatility would allow him to play villains as well as heroes, and he certainly could shine in television dramas or comedies. Fraser should be given a chance to be in the spotlight again. All he needs is the right role.


  38. Ran into Brendan Fraser in Durango Mexico while he was there filming Texas Rising. Asked him for a photo to send to my daughter in Florida for her 13th birthday. Shined me offf. Too bad because the other actors on the film (Ray Liotta, Bill Paxton, Olivier Martinez, and others have been super. Especially the Mexican actor who plays Juan Seguin in the film. Brendan your a punk. I hope your downfall continues.


    • What’s funny is that this is now at second “Brendan Fraser is a douche” story that somebody has told here:

      I think that (and maybe I’m reaching here), Brendan Fraser kind of reminds me of Tobey Maguire (whom I’ve been trying to convince LeBeau to write a WTHHT). What I mean is that both Brendan and Tobey were the stars of major, blockbuster franchises (“The Mummy” and “Spider-Man” respectively), but for whatever the reasons they never really went to “next level” so to speak. This (depending on what you believe online) could in part be because of their often unpleasant off-camera, personality (thus, hardly anybody of huge importance, save for Leonardo DiCaprio in Tobey Maguire’s case wants to work w/ them anymore). Plus, there attempts at doing something that the general public wasn’t used to seeing them (e.g. Brendan Fraser’s more dramatic roles or Tobey Maguire’s more “intense” roles like “Brothers”, in which he plays a war veteran w/ PTSD issues) have seemingly been mostly overlooked.


      • I was really close to writing up Maguire last year. And then The Great Gatsby was a hit and he starred in The Spoils of Babylon. Bought him some time, but his day is coming.


    • I think you are going to get your wish.

      There is a reader on FB who swears that Fraser is one of the most polite and generous Hollywood types she has ever known. I don’t want to give away her background, but she’s known quite a few. But then I have also heard a ton of stories like this that make me think overall Fraser could learn a thing or two about how to treat his fans. This is far from an isolated incident with this guy.


      • I wouldn’t make such a hasty defensive statement on Jim’s behalf, Lebeau, I might not like you much in the future ; )
        Take 2: TV has become ‘THE SPACE to be if you are in show business….
        Hey ungrateful Jim, go suck an egg, you deserved the snub.
        I have seen what Brendan can give when he chooses and considering your sited negativity, when you did not get what you wanted, you dissed him.
        Note this: There are more then you out there on net and elsewhere that think differently from you and have an experience of meeting him or even having possibly receiving some gift or gratitude that you will never knew…

        Be thankful that he gave you anything at all, albeit just a snub… Lucky you!


        • I always say that celebs are people too. They have good days and bad days. If you approached me at work on the wrong day, I might be short. Of course, if I were an actor and I was being approached by a fan, I like to think I would have the good sense not to be. Especially in this day and age when stories like this can be spread on the internet.

          Was I hasty and defensive? I don’t think so. I merely stated that this isn’t the first time I have heard a story like this one about Fraser. Frankly, I have heard of Fraser being even more rude than this to his fans. I have also heard people say he is incredibly polite and humble. It seems to depend on what mood he is in when you encounter him.

          Sorry. I call ’em like I see ’em. I try to be fair. Especially since I’ve never personally met the guy. Hopefully we can still be friends.


    • Brendan Fraser. Late 90’s.

      He came into a grocery store demanding a flat of Evian water (saying it in a really pretentious way). I said I’d see if I could find one and went to have a look. We didn’t carry flats of that brand and I apologized and asked if I could get him another brand and he totally spazzed out. “I said I wanted Evian, are you deaf or just stupid? Do you know who I am?”. I did, but said I didn’t and he scoffs and says “how dare you, I’m Brendan Fraser” and starts angrily listing off the movies he’d starred in up to that point. I was so disgusted by him that after he got to ‘blast from the past’ I said “oh, I think I’ve heard of that one, but I don’t usually watch B movies” and then excused myself to the dairy locker. He actually complained to my manager and demanded that he fire me for disrespecting authority… My manager assured him I’d be punished then we laughed at him after he’d stormed out. Epic douchebag.


  39. tobey still has a better body of work then fraser from cider house seabisucit he has hits outside one fransish seabuciut made alot of money i know tobey will never be a list but i think from time being he wont be on the site his work is still good he dont make alot of movies he chooses them perfect. brother got amazing reviews got golden globe nom fraser never got golden globe nom


  40. What did you think of tobey in brothers? I was impressed by his performance, I don’t think i had seen that level of intensity from him before that.


  41. yes his best pefromnce since wonderboys him and portman were awesome


  42. What did you think of jake gyllenhaal in the movie? And in general.


  43. i like him i didnt care for him at first because first movie of his i watched is buble boy but he grew on me as an actor wiht films like zodiac brothers he rocked it iam starting to like him as an actor


  44. Yeah, bubble boy certainly isn’t his best. lol.


  45. yeah but good things i saw his other work he is good. i like the movie he made with jackman can remember the name but its good i never saw brokeback heard it was good dont really seem the need to watch dosent sound interesting. cant say much about his costar heath heath is ok actor i guess but i havet seen alot of work lately he is ok


  46. The movie with hugh jackman was prisoners. Did you like that?


  47. i loved it hugh and jake good chemistry it very interesting proof was good to i hated day after tommorw that mostly qauid fault him and richard gere i hate them alot


  48. What don’t you like about richard gere?


  49. just dont think hes a good actor never really liked his movies either


  50. did u see zodiac good movie


  51. Yeah, i saw saw zodiac in theaters. I remember thinking it was good. What to you think of robert downey jr.?


  52. iam not fan of robert downy jr didnt like iron or sherleck holmes to be honest never liked any of his movies what do u think of michael caine


  53. What about his acting? I think he’s a great actor. He mainly does blockbusters now, but what about chaplin? He just inhabited him. Yeah, i like michael caine. I haven’t seen too many of his early movies, but I enjoy his work.


  54. alfie educating rita italin job hannah and her sisters didnt like chaplin never liked his acting in anything hated fur and kiss kiss bang bang only movie he did good in was tropic thunder i


  55. What do you think of joaquin phoenix?


  56. only movie his i liked and he did good in was walk the line and signs he overacts and comes off as to intense dont care for him


  57. speaking of zodiac do u like mark ruffalo


  58. I definitely do. I’ve liked him in most everything i’ve seen him in.


  59. he was funy in kids are all right i loved shutter island


  60. he will be at tiff promoting foxcatcher that movie will be good


  61. I’m looking forward to foxcatcher, i think it sounds good. Didn’t you say you’re going there?


  62. iam most looking forward to watch black and white and birdman and to meet costner


  63. Make sure to tell me about the people you end up meeting.


  64. give me your email ill tell u


  65. i sent u a message


  66. foxcatcher getting good reviews could get nom for ruffalo and carell but important 2014 could be year of comeback for costenr and keaton hollywood loves comeback


  67. They do. I’m hoping for a comeback for keaton, i’m keeping my fingers crossed


  68. i was never really a fan of keaton movies or acting but birdman looks good i want to c it u dont want to see costner have a comeback with black and white


  69. tobey gonna be there promoting pawn sacrifice looks good tobey is not the greatest actor but i like some of his work he good in few things although i like spiderman have to say i like his indies a little more ice storm plesentville cider house rules seabisuit details great Gatsby before spiderman he was like johnny depp respectable actor king of indies but not really a draw only difference outside of spiderman tobey isnt a draw like depp


  70. A very nice recap of Fraser’s career; I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of his work through the years. He definitely does have a gift for action comedy, as you note. For me, at least, Fraser (along with Rachel Weisz) is in fact the reason why the first two Mummy films are highly entertaining in spite of their flaws. They are both hitting exactly the right tone and they play off each other so well.

    But I’ve also really enjoyed some of Fraser’s darker roles. I really enjoyed his performance in The Quiet American. Michael Caine got the Oscar nod, but I felt Fraser absolutely nailed the role of the self-righteous Ugly American character. Fraser was also very good in a similar role in Journey to the End of Night.


    • Totally agree. Fraser and Weisz have a gift for light comedy that saved the Mummy films. But Fraser could also take on dramatic roles. It was sometimes hard to reconcile the goofy comedic roles with his dramatic performances.


  71. he feels flat and he underacts in dramatic roles the last time good example him and keaton going at was battle of the bad actors


  72. lebeau would u say success of seabiscuit puts tobey at a list jeff bridges did the movie sell on tobey or jeff


  73. but was the movie centered around maguire or bridges more whos names was first


    • Maguire was coming off Spider-man. He was arguably A-list at the time. Bridges was not. Bridges is a respected actor, but not one that opens movies.


    • Off topic, but my favorite period of Jeff Bridges roles were 1984-1987, with films such as “Against All Odds” (love the night scenes especially), “Jagged Edge” (creepy), “8 Million Ways to Die” (could’ve been better, but I like drunky Bridges), and “The Morning After” (drunky Fonda, sober Bridges). I just find this portion of his career interesting.


  74. i know its over 10 years old but people say other then spiderman his name alone didnt bring audience in seabisuit made over 100 million did that movie mean outside of spiderman tobey can carry a movie he is a list


  75. tron legacy made alot of money so jeff can occasional open a movie . jeff is an amazing actor hes open movies before.tobey opened spiderman but how many people saw it cause of him seabiscut made money but i could have sworn bridges name was in the title and it sold in his name too. iam not saying tobey is a bad actor hes no tom hanks but hes pretty good in some stuff tobey is mainly know as indie actor not really a huge draw sure he had alot of screen time in great gatsby but leo draw the crowd in. but tobey is better then branden fraser still has a better career


  76. before spider man the movie had that was a hit was cider house rules which sold on caines name since he was a bigger star like good will hunting sold on robins name . ice storm pleasentville were great movies tobey was usually good in them but they they were not hits jeff best performance is crazy heart he was amazing in fearless tobey did have charm in his roles a good actor but a douch never sings autographs


  77. even though jeff bridges is better actor then gere and better career i would say terms of box office he opens movies like gere once in a while he has a box office hit but never a huge draw that has a string of box office hits and is a top star for a decade plus bridges won oscar that puts him in a list


  78. Unlike so many other people you profile on here that got old or had a reputation for being complete jerks, I think he is one of the true What The Hell Happened to Him stories. I remember reading the reviews for the Mummy III and the critics even found it odd he was being “put out to pasture” in his own franchise. The movie aged his son in an attempt to get the young girl market (it didn’t work) and Brendon was almost a supporting actor despite carrying the first two films. Plus I remember one reviewer remarking it was extremely weird as Mr. Fraser was hardly over the hill and in fact was the same age at the time as Harrison Ford when he was making Indiana Jones movies.

    He was very funny in Bedazzled and could actually act as you listed in his filmography. Maybe he is too nice? Needs a new agent? He should have had a lot more leverage to get parts with a proven track record like his. (Especially in the Mummy franchise, he should have never agreed to do it and fought getting his role reduced)

    What is it with Hollywood and alimony? Child support is one thing, but alimony in 2014 is actually pretty rare and in most states they do allow you to reduce it based on change of income. Alimony is a relic for when women did not work and were homemakers. Many states do not even give it even if the earner (man or woman) is a billionaire unless the spouse can actually show real need for it. Maybe he needs a better lawyer too?


    • I have heard stories of Fraser being a gentleman. I have also read more than a few in which he was not so nice. I can’t say there’s a consensus one way or another like there is on some other actors out there.

      Fraser wasn’t just put out to pasture on The Mummy. He was also dumped from the Journey movies which became a Dwayne Johnson franchise. I’m not sure why or what that says about Fraser.

      I think Fraser had problems similar to Kurt Russell. They did a wide range of different genres without ever developing a specific type. You know what to expect when you buy a ticket for a Tom Cruise movie or a Jim Carrey movie. But a Brendan Fraser movie or a Kurt Russell movie could be anything. As a result, you don’t build that same loyal fanbase. Range may be a good thing for an actor to have, but it can be limiting as a movie star.

      I also think Fraser ran into some of the same problems as Carrey. If Fraser had an on-screen personae, it was the big goofy guy. After Encino Man and George of the Jungle, it was kind of hard to take him seriously when he did other things. This point runs counter to my previous point. But I think both are true if such a thing is possible.

      Bottom line: Fraser needed to find a way to capitalize on The Mummy’s success. He never did. After a string of bombs, he was viewed as box office poison. Personality may have also played a factor.

      The state of CA is notorious for these kinds of unfair alimony settlements. Don’t get divorced in Hollywood. There’s at least a few celebs in the WTHH series who have had their careers hamstrung by alimony. Poor Billy Zane got divorced right after Titanic!


      • Movie Jail: This week’s defendant is…Brendan Fraser!

        The Defendant

        Brendan Fraser

        The Case

        The Prosecution: Gimme Shelter, The Nut Job, Breakout, HairBrained, Escape from Planet Earth, Stand Off, Furry Vengeance, Extraordinary Measures, Inkheart, The Last Time, Journey to the End of the Night, Monkeybone, Dudley Do-Right, Mrs. Winterbourne, The Scout

        Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if the prosecution had to only use one word to describe Brendan Fraser’s career, it would be odd. Very, very odd. Although he was the face of a profitable franchise with The Mummy series, the past decade or so hasn’t been kind to the actor, but a lot of the blame falls on Mr. Fraser himself, due to his bad career choices.

        Even at the peak of his star power (late 1990s/early 2000s), Mr. Fraser had a habit of appearing in questionable projects. Monkeybone and Dudley Do-Right were both massive critical and financial failures, and while Looney Tunes: Back in Action is an okayish movie, it had an underperforming run at the box office office.

        But things really started to go wrong for Mr. Fraser somewhere around 2009, after the release of Journey to the Center of the Earth. Since then, the actor has starred in multiple negatively reviewed movies, with the biggest offender being 2010’s Furry Vengeance, which is at a paltry 8% at Rotten Tomatoes. Mr. Fraser has also starred in such “winners” as Breakout and Stand Off, and he helped produce both films. Mr. Fraser isn’t a bad actor, but he’s certainly not a strong one either, and hasn’t done much to prove he doesn’t belong in Movie Jail.

        The Mummy is getting a reboot, and in the prosecution’s opinion, Mr. Fraser’s career desperately needs a reboot as well. A long prison stay won’t exactly help the actor, however he definitely needs to go to prison for his crimes.

        The Defense: The Mummy series, Pawn Shop Chronicles, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Air I Breathe, Crash, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Quiet American, Bedazzled, Blast from the Past, Gods and Monsters, Still Breathing, George of the Jungle, Twenty Bucks, School Ties, Encino Man

        Ladies and gentlemen, the defense doesn’t have a concrete explanation as to why my client’s career is where it is today, but we will defend Mr. Fraser because we believe he’s a solid (although not fantastic) actor, and he seems to be a decent dude.

        Mr. Fraser’s charisma is evident in The Mummy movies, and the defense doesn’t think he’s as wooden of an actor as many have claimed. The defense enjoyed his dramatic turns in The Quiet American, Gods and Monsters and Crash, but the defense understands part of the reason why Mr. Fraser is up for Movie Jail is because it has been years since a well-received movie was released (his last fresh film was 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth) starring the actor.

        As for Mr. Fraser’s recent efforts, he had a memorable role in Pawn Shop Chronicles, and while The Nut Job was panned by critics, the defense thought his voice work was just fine. Mr. Fraser also had a very good performance in The Air I Breathe, but unfortunately the movie itself received scathing reviews from most critics.

        Yes, Mr. Fraser’s career does need a reboot of sorts, but the defense is hopeful he will be able to turn things around, and we don’t believe the actor needs to be put behind bars.

        IN CLOSING…

        What should we do with The Mummy star? Do you think Mr. Fraser just needs the right role in the right movie to get his career back on track, or is it too late for the actor? Is Brendan Fraser GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?


  79. George of the Jungle and all those crappy Mummy movies is what happened.


  80. When mentioning Brendan Fraser how come ” The Mummy” or ” The Mummy Returns ” his biggest movies are not brought up?


    • Brendan Fraser Files Suit Over William Tell Project, Seeks $3M In Damages:

      Brendan Fraser has filed suit in Superior Court in Santa Monica against producer Todd Moyer over a planned movie about William Tell. Arclight Pictures approached Fraser in early 2011 about starring in William Tell … The Legend 3D. According to the suit, after Fraser became attached to star, Moyer took over development of the movie. Fraser contends that subsequently Moyer assured him that principal photography would begin by October 11, and as a result Fraser turned down other offers. Meanwhile, the suit alleges, Moyer and Fraser agreed the script was too “dark and serious” and needed a substantial amount of work to transform the project into a family-friendly action adventure. At Fraser’s suggestion Moyer hired Eric Brevig, who directed Fraser in Journey To The Center Of the Earth. Moyer also used Fraser’s involvement to attempt to raise financing for the project, the suit continues, but movie never advanced to production. Fraser’s suit contends Moyer never had sufficient financing and he either refused to sign agreements or alienated potential investors.

      The suit says Fraser received a written agreement dated November 30, 2011 to remain involved and he continued to turn down other roles. Fraser was to receive fixed compensation of $2.25 million with 10% paid as a hold fee with the balance to be deposited in escrow with Fraser’s agency CAA. According to the suit, Moyer continued to delay or stall the start of production and has failed to deposit the balance of Fraser’s fixed fee with CAA.

      Alleging breach of contract and fraud, Fraser’s suit seeks a minimum of $3 million in compensatory damages plus punitive and exemplary damages to be determined by a jury trial.


  81. Blockbuster Buster: Dudley Do-Right

    Watch them Do Dudley WRONG!!!


  82. I know that this is late and all but I seriously love this write-up. There were a few opinions I disagreed with but overall a nice overview of a likably quirky and surprisingly versatile actor who’s made several awful decisions over the past decade or so but can still be pleasant in the right role. So again good write-up and nice site overall. I’ll be seeing you around.


    • It’s never too late to comment on any of these articles, especially the “What The Hell Happened To…?” series, as many of the subject’s write-ups are updated or remastered. Think of it as the “Unsolved Mysteries” for film and performer enthusiasts; it’s never truly finished (a philosophy that George Lucas apparently adheres to, with more mixed results:-).


    • Glad you liked it and thanks for reading!


  83. You’re welcome! And thanks for replying to me and clearing things up about the “late comment” situation so again thanks!



    Brendan Fraser was a genre-jumping, action blockbusting, bonafide hottie by the time he reached the apex of his career in the late 90s. The momentous success of The Mummy made both him and Rachel Weisz household names, and it seemed like the actor’s trajectory should’ve shot steadily upward as it had in his first decade in Hollywood. But if you ask anyone under the age of say 15, what they think of Brendan Fraser, they’ll most likely respond with a glassy-eyed “Freezer who?” So. Whatever happened to the leading man we were promised at the turn of the century?

    Brendan Fraser, born a Hoosier by two full-blooded Canadians, had his first foray into the acting scene in the form of a reenactment for America’s Most Wanted — he played the victim of murderer Rodney Mark Peterson. His first leading role came only four years later in the 1992 flick Encino Man, where he busted out of a block of ice — abs and all — into the hearts of Pauly Shore and the rest of America. A versatile actor, Fraser (most people pronounce his name like the dry 90s sitcom “Frasier”, when it actually just rhymes with the word “laser”) proved that he had all the elements perfect for ushering us out of the flimsier, comedic plots of the late 80s into the more grounded, self-aware scene of the 90s.

    Next came films like School Ties, With Honors and In the Army Now (ok, not too self-aware.) But still, Brendan could run the gambit, and we bought whatever it was he was selling in any number of movie genres. It turned out his biggest strength was in his ability to be silly, and lighthearted while maintaining a earnestness to his work. George of the Jungle, offered another role that fit his strengths perfectly (somehow he became an expert at playing a caveman?) and quickly became his biggest hit, pushing him to the next level. Seeing that we went gaga all over his neanderthal bod, Hollywood then shoved a massive action flick onto his plate, The Mummy, which ensconced him as a Hollywood hero, a path that leads to long, lucrative careers. He was the next Indiana Jones, but he could also do Gods and Monsters AND Blast From the Past at the same time.

    Then, suddenly, Fraser’s career began to wane. Why? Dudley Do-Right was in his wheelhouse and Bedazzled was fun(ish) — but comedies like Monkeybone seemed like a step backwards in the style of content we came to expect from a star. The heart-centered simplicity he became famous for was lost on the audiences of the aughts. Then came a very expected Mummy sequel, and eventually Journey to the Center of the Earth, after which he may as well have been buried down there…

    Unfortunately Fraser’s personal life followed a similar arc to his career. Fraser courted Afton Smith, who he met at BBQ at Winona Ryder’s house — how 90s! — until the two married later in the decade. The happy couple had three sons, as Brendan’s career soared, and then less than 9 years later it was announced that the two were getting divorced. Later in 2013 Fraser would take her to court to reduce the extravagant $900,000 yearly alimony he was paying his ex.

    The good news is, the indie scene has become better acquainted with the actor, giving him a much needed home, and hopefully the money he needs to get out of the debt he’s allegedly steeped in. Movies like Case of You and Gimme Shelter have kept his head poking about, but a headliner like Vanessa Hudgens will hardly buy the street cred necessary for a comeback (and neither will a stream of below 30% “Tomatometers”.)

    So, if Brendan proved his worthiness at the box office and his versatility as an actor early in his career, and the man avoided the pitfalls of other superstars – side-stepping controversy, rumor, public humiliation, sex-tapes, etc., what was it that let the career of an intelligent, talented, strikingly handsome man slowly sift through his own fingertips? Or maybe it was the Hollywood landscape that changed, or we just tired of him in his old(er) age. Then again, he’s only 2 years older than Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the same age as Vince Vaughn, and three years younger than Robert Downey Jr. He may have lost his six-pack and have less hair, but so have the rest of them.

    It’s possible that Fraser pinned himself to an an type-cast innocence with his earlier characters that we find less attractive or appropriate for a older, leading man. Is that why he’s facing the difficulty of a child star seeking a comeback career? Whatever the reason, there’s still plenty of talent left to be seen from Fraser — he hasn’t lost it, did you see Crash? Even Downey Jr. faced a long dry spell before he came back as one of the highest-earning celebrities in history, so maybe if the actor can find his Iron Man, he’ll again be plastered on the screen with that goofy grin from the 90s, like popping out of his bomb-bunker from another era in Blast From the Past.


  85. During a break in the Pro Football game, I caught a few minutes of “George of the Jungle”. It seems pretty decent, and I can see kids of a certain age getting into it. I remember the cartoon reruns when I was a kid, and still get a chuckle out of the whole “watch out for that tree!” bit.


  86. Why Hollywood won’t cast Brendan Fraser anymore

    Back in the day, there was a time when actor Brendan Fraser was starring in multiple movies regularly. Those days are long, long gone. Where did it all go wrong for the Indianapolis-born actor? Let’s count the ways Dudley Do-Right started doing so little.

    Bombing at the box office

    2010 was a rough year for Fraser and may have been the reason he’s become persona non grata in Hollywood. In the span of just two months, Fraser starred in not one, but two box office disasters. The first, the medical drama Extraordinary Measures, features Fraser teaming up with Harrison Ford to develop a drug to help fight a life-threatening disease. As is typically the case with movies released in January, Extraordinary Measures was universally panned by critics, many of whom felt it belonged on the small screen. Audiences balked as well; the film earned just $12 million throughout its theatrical run, off a $31 million budget.

    Three months later, Fraser was at the front of an even bigger bomb, Furry Vengeance. Compared to Extraordinary Measures, Furry Vengeance performed about the same at the box office; it grossed $17.6 million off a $35 million budget. Unfortunately for Fraser, the film was universally ripped to shreds by critics; it currently sits with an 8 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Hang in there, Brendan!

    He thwarted his own comeback

    In 2008, Fraser surprised everyone in Hollywood when the kid-friendly action-adventure flick, Journey to the Center of the Earth, turned out to be an unexpected hit. The film went on to become one of the highest-grossing flicks of 2008, earning an impressive $101.7 million. Naturally, the studio, New Line, wanted to quickly turn around a sequel.

    However, Fraser wanted to hold out for the original film’s director, Eric Brevig, who at the time was putting the final touches on Yogi Bear 3-D. Hollywood ending up bringing in a new director and replaced Fraser with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. On the one hand, Fraser’s loyalty was admirable; on the other, his timing couldn’t be worse. Johnson replaced Fraser only months after Furry Vengeance bombed in theaters, a time when Fraser desperately needed better work. We hope he can journey back into the spotlight.

    The Mummy franchise dragged out for too long

    Despite having a pretty rough decade or so, there was a time in movie history when Fraser was actually a legitimate box office star. That was due mostly to The Mummy franchise, which began all the way back in 1999. The first movie, while not a big hit with critics, went over well with audiences on its way to a massive $155 million box office run. The sequel, The Mummy Returns, was an even bigger hit. Working on only a slightly bigger budget than The Mummy, The Mummy Returns grossed a staggering $202 million in 2001, making it one of the 10 highest-grossing movies that year. By that point, one would think that the franchise’s studio, Universal Pictures, would try to rush out a threequel.

    Because of various delays, the third Mummy movie didn’t actually arrive in theaters until 2008, with a brand-new director and an almost entirely new cast on board. By then, audiences had grown pretty tired of the franchise, especially after the Scorpion King spin-off; did we really need to wait six years for a third movie? That fatigue reflected in the film’s box office returns. Despite being a hit overseas, it barely crossed the $100 million threshold in the States, signaling the beginning of the end for Fraser’s career. As expected The Mummy started to decay.

    Lackluster projects

    Like many actors who hit big around the turn of the century, Fraser wound up starring in one bad movie after the next. Some of his biggest flops included the live-action adaptation of Dudley Do-Right, which grossed a jaw-dropping $9.9 million off a $70 million budget; the bizarre 2001 comedy Monkeybone, which earned just $5.4 million off a $75 million budget; and another bad cartoon adaptation, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which took in $20.9 million off an $80 million budget. At the time, Fraser was lucky with The Mummy franchise to counter these flops. Perhaps it’s time for Fraser to stop working with animated characters.

    Prestige actors swallowed him whole

    To Fraser’s credit, he was able to land a handful of roles in movies that went on to win Oscars. In 1998, director Bill Condon took a chance on him by casting him opposite Ian McKellen and Lynn Redgrave in the biopic of gay Hollywood director James Whale, Gods & Monsters. Fraser followed that with a role in 2002’s The Quiet American, for which his co-star, Michael Caine, received an Oscar nomination. Then, in 2005, Fraser was one of the many famous faces who made up Paul Haggis’ divisive Oscar winner, Crash.

    Despite giving it his all in Gods & Monsters, Fraser’s surface-level performance paled in comparison to the complex and multi-layered work by McKellen and Redgrave, both of whom went on to receive Oscar nominations. In The Quiet American, he mostly stayed in the background as Caine delivered a subtle showcase. With so many famous stars around him, it was tough for Fraser to standout in Crash.

    His Golden Globes clap was really weird

    Fraser became the subject of humorous GIFs, memes, and general Internet ridicule after cameras caught him awkwardly laughing and clapping while Robert De Niro was presenting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2010 Golden Globes. The three-second-long moment had everyone laughing the night of the ceremony; video remixes, including one set to Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” made it the stuff of Internet legend. Once the affable star of innocuous Hollywood movies, Fraser looked awkward and somewhat out of place. It’s okay Brendan, we’ll still give you an awkward ovation.


      • Washed-up movie stars who are overdue for a comeback

        Brendan Fraser
        Though it may seem hard to believe, there was a period in Hollywood history when Brendan Fraser was a bankable movie star. Much of that had to do with the Mummy franchise, which grossed well over $350 million in the States alone. During that time, Fraser also took a few artistic chances, landing roles in critically acclaimed films such as the Academy Award-winning Gods and Monsters (1998) and Oscar-nominated The Quiet American (2002).

        So what the hell happened? Unfortunately, Fraser followed up with a lot of poor roles. Things got so bad that by 2010, he’d become the laughing stock of Hollywood. That’s a shame because there’s a certain innocent, likable charm to Fraser that we think deserves a second chance in the business. All he needs are a few out-of-left-field roles in indies—think Matthew McConaughey in Mud (2012)—and his career could quickly get back on track. Maybe not all the way to the Oscars, but enough for Hollywood to start taking Fraser seriously again.


  87. 12 Biggest Movies You Can’t Remember Being Released


    When the franchise first launched in the late 90s, Brendan Fraser was a known star and the fresh-faced beauty of Rachel Weisz juxtaposed well with Fraser’s clumsy heroic act. After a successful sequel with The Mummy Returns, the franchise went into hibernation for seven years until it was revived with a sequel that takes the plot out of Egypt and into China. The change didn’t bode well for the film. Fraser didn’t command the cache he did when the original came out and the rest of cast didn’t help either.

    The change of scenery wasn’t all that changed. Fraser didn’t command the cache he did when the original came out. On top of that, Rachel Weisz didn’t return to the series at all. Instead, we got the always annoying changing of actors but not characters, with Maria Bello playing a much less charismatic Evie. And, to add a new wrinkle, the mummy coming back from the dead and playing antagonist to Brendan Fraser was none other than action film maestro Jet Li.

    Gone was the villainous Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep, the antagonist from the first two movies. The stakes couldn’t get higher, but anticipation couldn’t get lower. The film received negative reviews, which were offset by a positive run at the box office, grossing over $400 million worldwide, but it wasn’t enough to save the franchise as it has been scrapped ever since.


  88. 11 Hollywood Actors Who Failed To Break Out


    Brendan Fraser is the oldest actor on this list and probably the biggest enigma. Breaking out in the Disney movie George of the Jungle, Fraser then went on to lead two highly successful films in The Mummy franchise. He also had roles opposite Elizabeth Hurley and Alicia Silverstone in Bedazzled and Blast from the Past, respectively. Those films didn’t do great financially, but they continued to establish him as an established Hollywood near A-lister.

    But then 2008 happened. He headlined two summer movies in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Both ended up being respectable successes, but didn’t light the world ablaze with their performance. Even with multiple hits on his resume, his star slowly withered away. He hasn’t been in a financially successful film since 2008. Fraser was never the prototype leading actor, leaning toward the goofy side, but his resume boasted some pretty big films before his slow exile from elite Hollywood happened.


  89. 10 Actors Hollywood Forgot About


    For someone who starred in a trilogy that made over $1.2 billion at the box office (The Mummy), Brendan Fraser sure isn’t looked at as a huge draw for audiences. Maybe it’s his lack of other certifiable hits, maybe it’s bad luck, maybe people just aren’t sure how to spell his last name. The only thing we know for sure is that Brendan Fraser hasn’t had a noticeable on-screen role since the last entry of The Mummy trilogy back in 2008.

    While Fraser has been in supporting roles here and there in the past few years, including a role amongst the past (and also, largely forgotten) cast of History channel’s mini-series Texas Rising, we miss the days of his liter fare. Spectacular roles in Scrubs, Looney Tunes: Back in Action (don’t laugh, it was a delightful film), and Blast from the Past show that Fraser should be given more chances to do comedy, and perhaps less to fight Mummies again and again and again.


  90. Well, technically those were both in 2008 with nothing in between. The last mummy movie certainly didn’t help, it had been too long since Mummy 2 and no one really cared anymore for the series (which showed with the film’s $145mil budget only pulling in $42mil on opening weekend, and is still about $40mil in the hole in terms of investment). But then you start getting into movies like Furry Vengeance which Fraser openly admitted to being ashamed of starring in, and just barely squeaked by on breaking even… after 6 years of being released ($35mil budget, $6mil on opening weekend).

    He did the voice for one of the main characters in Escape from Planet Earth (which my kids love, and I feel was a pretty decent movie), but because of some drama behind the scenes, only pulled in about $15mil on a $40mil budget on opening weekend. Over the span of the life of the movie you’re only at $57mil, which only just barely covers the company’s $50mil settlement after the writers sued the production company for fucking up so badly managing it.

    Later on he did a voice in The Nut Job, which was only slightly better ($42mil budget, about $19.7mil on opening weekend, and about $120mil over the span of the last couple years).

    I like Brendan Fraser, but the prime of his career was definitely back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, and he should really look into firing his agent.


  91. 15 Actors In Desperate Need Of A Box Office Hit


    We honestly have no clue what caused Brendan Fraser’s career to implode the way it did. He had it all. He was handsome but a little funny looking, making him the perfect Hollywood everyman, and he is a great joy to watch on the big screen. One minute he was a quirky leading actor, elevating action movies like The Mummy, family comedies like George of the Jungle, and intelligent dramas like Gods and Monsters, but then the next minute he’s gone, nowhere to be found, except for a cameo in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the occasional godawful mess like Furry Vengeance. Why, Brendan? Why?

    Fraser pops up here and there in decent films like Pawn Shop Chronicles and Extraordinary Measures, but none of them are going to boost his profile the way it needs boosting. At 47 years old, Fraser needs a new agent, he needs a role in the new Mummy movie with Tom Cruise, and he needs to get back out there on the A-List where he belongs. You can do it, Brendan!


  92. 8 Forgotten Actors From The Early 2000s

    Brendan Fraser

    After his roles in Encino Man and School Ties, Brendan Fraser was well on his way to becoming an in-demand actor in Hollywood. Throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s, he continued to act more roles to his resume, but sometime after that, he just fell off the radar. He barely acts anymore. The last movie he was in was something called The Nut Job and it was just a voice role and he was also in a mini-series in 2015 titled Texas Rising.


  93. Lebeau, I like your WTHH series, especially the comments. I could honestly spend hours reading the comments.

    Fraser is one of my favorite actors (or subjects, whatever you would like to call them) covered in this series. It’s sad what happened to him, but the poor movie choices are not entirely to blame here. Unfortunately, Fraser is a good guy gone bad. He has alimony problems and sues people constantly, which overshadowed his good guy image. (I’d say he shattered his good guy image around 2009-2010.) The poor movie choices certainly did not help matters.

    I wasn’t surprised when Macaulay Culkin and Val Kilmer (both of whom I like) went bad because it was only a matter of time before they went bad. However, I was surprised when Fraser went bad because I thought he had everything together. It’s sad to think I was wrong.


    • Thanks for the kind words. I’m looking forward to getting back into WTHH mode as the Razzies series winds down. I agree that the comments section is often the most interesting part of the article. The comments take on a life of their own. I’m pretty proud of the way conversations have carried on years after the article was originally posted. We’ve got a great community here.

      As for Fraser, alimony, hair loss and weight gain were all contributing factors. I have heard stories of Fraser mistreating people, but I also know someone who swears he is the sweetest actor she ever met. While he was probably never as clean cut as his image suggested, who is?


      • Thank you for your feedback. I agree with your statement about the comments taking a life of their own. There is stuff about the subject mentioned in the comments section that I have never seen or heard mentioned before.

        I have revisited the comments on Fraser before replying to you. I remembered the stories in the comments (and you summarized them in statement above) about Fraser being nasty to people. I don’t count that as an image shattering factor if it happens once. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

        “While he was probably never as clean cut as his image suggested, who is?”
        The only people I can think of at the moment are Matt Damon and Chris O’Donnell.


  94. Brendan Fraser Replaces Ray Liotta in Indian Mafia Thriller ‘The Field’


  95. 15 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit

    Brendan Fraser

    Once upon a time Brendan Fraser was the bad*ss lead of the Mummy franchise, and in 2004 appeared as part of the ensemble in Best Picture Oscar winner Crash.

    Post-Mummy, however, things haven’t been so great, and the only film he’s appeared in since 2008 to be a major financial success is 2014’s animation The Nut Job, which naturally wasn’t sold on the presence of him or any other actor.

    With Fraser’s rough alimony payments to his ex-wife and current status as an Internet meme, it’s safe to say that he needs that big, memorable supporting role, probably in a comedy film, to make everyone remember why they loved this guy in the first place. Perhaps then studios might be prepared to offer him starring work once again.


  96. Even though I’m sad Brendan Fraser went bad (you have probably seen my sadness on my comments on the previous page), he could still turn himself around. Fraser could have a second career in voice work like Mark Hamill and Will Friedle (Eric on “Boy Meets World”). He is a good voice actor, and I wonder if he ever considered doing that as a second career.


  97. Fraser was kind of out of place in the era he broke out it: he had leading man looks but also had charisma and could really do comedic roles. Hollywood at the time didn’t know what to do with him. Had he been a decade or two younger I think he’d fit much better into the modern movie scene. He was when you get right down to it, arguably the 1990s version of Chris Pratt with goofy affability.

    If you look at the two major roles he took right after “The Mummy”, they were both critically acclaimed. So there is a possibility that he wanted to switch to being a serious actor and it just didn’t happen for him. He had a chance at a comeback with “Journey..” after it did really well and he screwed himself over, by holding out for the original director and got replaced in the sequel by The Rock. He later injured his back a few years ago so can’t really do action movies anymore. But since that’s all he was really known for, Hollywood probably won’t hire him for anything else.


    • 15 Famous Actors Who REALLY Aren’t Aging Well


      An actor that falls into the category of “Where are they now?”, Brendan Fraser was box office gold for a time, fronting three super-successful Mummy movies, which is three more than Tom Cruise ever managed.

      Singled out for stardom from an early age in movies like Encino Man and School Ties, it seemed as though Fraser had smoothly transitioned from teen star to Hollywood A-lister in a way only subsequently seen with Zac Efron. But as time rolled on, age and stress began to take its toll on Fraser, whose once-boyish good looks began to fade.

      Throw in a messy divorce and some pretty hefty alimony payments, and it’s little wonder that by the time he popped up with a guest role on The Affair, his hair was thinning and he had put on a few pounds. But then, it happens to us all eventually, and he was excellent as the creepy prison officer John Gunther on the show.



    Though he has been taken for granted and misused by Hollywood for years, Brendan Fraser is still a damn treasure.


  99. The Real Reason Hollywood Dumped Brendan Fraser


  100. For those keeping tabs on Brendan Fraser’s career (you know who you are), here’s his next TV role:


  101. The Precipitous Decline Of Brendan Frasier

    04-30-2017, 09:02 PM

    It seemed to me like Brendan Frasier, at one time, had a pretty good career going. Then it seemed like it fell off a cliff. Why?

    Lousy movie roles?
    Not that good an actor?
    Or some other reason?

    I was most impressed with him in “School Ties”.

    Yesterday, 12:18 AM

    I thought Brendan Frasier was going to be a major star years ago. Something went wrong, and he ended up in some bad movies.

    I thought he was great in ‘Gods and Monsters’, which remains one of my favorite films.

    Yesterday, 05:45 AM

    Originally Posted by phetaroi
    It seemed to me like Brendan Frasier, at one time, had a pretty good career going. Then it seemed like it fell off a cliff. Why?

    Lousy movie roles?
    Not that good an actor?
    Or some other reason?

    I was most impressed with him in “School Ties”.
    Well, he started losing his looks early and maybe he didn’t have the talent and/or connections to keep getting decent work.

    Yesterday, 06:31 AM

    He had great momentum with The Mummy, which he followed up with Dudley Do Right. Bad career choices.

    Yesterday, 11:46 AM

    I’ve read somewhere that his ex-wife took him to the cleaners and that was when he started taking crap roles, so he could keep up with child support payments. He also seems to have gotten the hair plugs to fend off the premature hair loss, which would inhibit his chances at the ‘leading man’ roles he was famous for.

    I loved him in the Mummy movies and thought he was perfectly cast. Maybe he couldn’t successfully break from that association?

    Yesterday, 05:14 PM

    Well, he started losing his looks early and maybe he didn’t have the talent and/or connections to keep getting decent work.

    It is not uncommon nor unheard of for actors to “peak” after a few short years in Hollywood. BF is not the first nor certainly will be the last actor who burst upon the scene, had a few good movie roles, then that was an end of things. Could say the same about Cuba Gooding, Jr. who won an Oscar and has done very little worth noting since IMHO.

    Anyone who follows “Hollywood” knows or should know very well that after the old studio system died it left actors and actresses to pretty much fed for themselves. No longer under contract that at least paid them regardless, so studios put them in films (good, bad or whatever) to at least get something for their money, today it is all about roles, box office draw, and of course politics (studio, not government).

    Ryan O’Neal by anyone’s predictions should have had a huge career as a leading man in Hollywood, but it didn’t turn out that way.

    For the record plenty of people are asking WEHT BF, and or wanting him back in films.

    Yesterday, 06:39 PM

    He appeared in the Affair as a creepy prison guard and was good n the role. Many actors have had stalled careers and later had a resurgence. Micheal Keaton and Mickey Rourke are good examples. We may see Brendan new active in the future.

    Today, 07:48 PM

    He’s aged out of leading man roles, and just needs a few years to become old enough to play other roles.


    • 14 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit Movie

      Brendan Fraser

      From the late 90s through to the late 2000s, Brendan Fraser racked up a number of impressive box office hits, including George of the Jungle, the enormously successful Mummy trilogy, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

      In 2008, however, Fraser hit a brick wall, with his post-Mummy movies simply failing to catch light with audiences, and before long, he ended up being replaced for the Journey sequel by The Rock. How is anyone supposed to compete with that?

      Though Fraser did recently enjoy an acclaimed run on hit TV show The Affair, and he is currently working on other TV fare, his cinematic prospects are virtually nil at this point, all the more depressing as Tom Cruise just milked his Mummy franchise for another quick buck.

      At least Fraser’s status as a meme in recent years does increase the likelihood that Hollywood might give him another chance some time soon, and considering the brutal alimony payments he reportedly has to make to his ex-wife, it’s just as well.


  102. Good Bad Flicks: The Mummy (1999)


    • ‘The Mummy’: Why Tom Cruise Couldn’t Top Brendan Fraser

      The 1999 film harkened back to ‘Indiana Jones,’ while the new installment is more interested in setting up a shared universe.


      • The reason why Brendan Fraser wasn’t in The Mummy remake

        It would have been amazing to see Brendan Fraser back for more Mummy action in this year’s remake, but sadly, he didn’t make an appearance alongside Tom Cruise as the new lead. And in an interview with ET Online, director of The Mummy Alex Kurtzman explained exactly why a Fraser cameo never happened.

        According to Kurtzman, bringing Fraser, who portrayed protagonist Rick O’Connell in the ’90s Mummy movie series, back for a small role wasn’t ever an option. This was due to the gap of time between the last film and the recently released one. Logistically, it just wouldn’t work out.

        “We never really talked actively about bringing Brendan Fraser in, because he lived in a very different time period than the modern day and so he would be potentially not even be alive,” Kurtzman explained with a laugh. “Unless he himself were a monster, it didn’t seem like he would make a whole lot of sense. And if he were a monster, then we would have had a lot of explaining to do about why he was there.”

        But just because The Mummy didn’t include Fraser himself doesn’t mean it was totally without inspiration from its predecessors. The remake does contain a small Fraser easter egg, said Kurtzman: “We wanted to tip our hat to [Fraser], and there are two moments that do that in the film [including the Book of Amun-Ra, which Fraser’s character use to defeat Imhotep in 1999’s The Mummy].”

        The Mummy remake stars Cruise as Nick Morton, Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, Annabelle Wallis as Jenny Halsey, Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet, Jake Johnson as Chris Vail, and Courtney B. Vance as Colonel Greenway. 

        It’s actually probably a good thing that Fraser isn’t included on the cast list, even in an unnamed cameo, as The Mummy is currently tanking at the box office, and has a 16 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (That’s arguably even more frightening than the titular monster.) If you’re wondering why the remake flopped, take a look at the real reason The Mummy wasn’t a success.


    • Blast From the Past (1999)

      So I love this movie despite its many problems. Brendan Fraser is essentially the human form of a golden retriever both in this movie and in life. He does a commentary for the first Mummy movie and its pretty obvious that he did very little acting in this.

      Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek are both delightfully unhinged in this. Alicia Silverstone has never been the best actress but she does just fine and the supporting cast are all great including Dave Foley, and Nathan Fillion in an early role. I’ve recommended they do this movie in other threads before, but I have to say that I think Inkheart would be a better Fraser pick.

      The only thing that bothers me about movies like this, is that they glorify the 50’s as the apex of civilization while ignoring the fact that was only true if you were a white dude.


  103. Fading Favorite: Let’s Talk About Brendan Fraser

    When I sent out a tweet asking my followers to share their favourite examples of the Female Gaze in film and television, the responses were as varied as they were revealing. The usual suspects came up – Outlander, the Magic Mike movies, basically every Hollywood Chris – and a deeper discussion evolved on how to define the gaze as well as unconventional ways it could be implemented. Everyone got a look in, from Harvey Keitel in The Piano to the Amazons in Wonder Woman, but there was one name who kept coming up in huge numbers from my followers that surprised me.

    A Tumblr post gained popularity a couple of years ago for arguing in favor of George of the Jungle being the perfect example of the Female Gaze in film. It’s a convincing piece that lays out a detailed case, and it reminded a lot of women of this generation of how potent a figure actor Brendan Fraser was as a leading man for the short burst of time he dominated the big screen. Now, with Universal rebooting The Mummy yet again simultaneously as fresh franchise bait and a star vehicle for one of the industry’s most ubiquitous stars, audiences are returning to the Fraser films, remembering, free of the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, just how good he could be.

    The first thing to remember about the Stephen Sommers action-adventure take on the classic horror story is that it’s fun. The Mummy prides itself on its old-school approach to the genre, lifting elements from the same source material that inspired Indiana Jones. Sure, the special effects are ropey and the sequels offered diminishing returns, but a film that many critics wrote off at the time as a misfire has retained much of its audience enthusiasm by merit of being unabashedly enjoyable. It embraces the silliness, throws in a convincing romance, has a few genuine scares, and revels in its retro appeal. It’s an ideal vehicle for Fraser, and much of the film’s success can be traced back to his performance. Fraser’s Rick O’Connell is a hero who knows he’s the hero of an adventure romp: Cocky without being off-putting, charming yet not above getting messy, a gleam in his eye and a gun in his hand. Fraser seems keenly influenced by old Errol Flynn movies, but with a slapstick edge. Imagine if Robin Hood were ready to take a pie in the face at any moment. He’s also an immensely appealing partner in an equally balanced romantic pairing, something that’s depressingly rare in popcorn fare.

    Fraser as O’Connell shares many qualities with his performance in George of the Jungle, as well as several of his earlier comedic roles. The willingness to wholeheartedly delve into goofball territory is instantly endearing, and he does it so well. Tom Cruise may run, but Brendan Fraser pratfalls on a whole new level of skill. As the eponymous George, his physicality balances a fine line between Tarzan and Jim Carrey. He slams into trees, trips into the dirt, and has one particularly memorable post-shower scene that sent Tumblr ablaze a decade and a half later. His comedic styling seems out of time, a call-back to classic slapstick that is best exemplified in non-modern stories like George of the Jungle, as well as Blast From the Past and even Dudley Do-Right. It’s a performance that could so easily have come across as infantilized or too guileless, but there’s always a self-knowing smile on standby. Like a cartoon, it’s fun to see stupid things happen to him, but even more satisfying when he secretly has the upper hand. Fraser never seems to give anything less than 100%, even in mediocre fare like Bedazzled and the catastrophic flop Monkeybone, which grossed a mere $7.6m on a $75m budget.

    His dramatic chops were nothing to be sneezed at either, with standout performances in Gods and Monsters, where he played the Marine turned gardener who forms a tentative friendship with director James Whale (Ian McKellen), and The Quiet American, alongside Michael Caine, as a CIA agent sent to 1950s Vietnam to take care of America’s interests, which may be his most striking role. While his range is not expansive, he works well within those limitations and harnesses that sardonic sweetness so well used in comedy to great effect in roles like James Whale’s pseudo-companion or the idealistic American who views the turmoil of invasion and war in blindly black and white terms. Hell, he’s even pretty good in Crash.

    There’s a line in Roger Ebert’s review of Gods and Monsters, where he says, “Fraser is subtle and attuned to the role, but doesn’t project strong sexuality”. That’s something that I would argue only adds to his appeal – in his prime, he was undoubtedly sexy, but never overbearing in his physicality or condescending in his personality. With Rachel Weisz in The Mummy and Leslie Mann in George of the Jungle, you completely buy that this man sees these women as his equals, or possibly even his superiors, and he respects that. The default mode of the romantic subplot in modern blockbusters is that of a less interesting and more combative Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, where un-witty hostilities suddenly make way for male dominance and a happy ending. Fraser worked best as the romantic hero in an equally balanced game, giving the women a stronger dynamic to work with and for the ultimate final kiss to feel wholly earned. No wonder so many women see the Female Gaze in his most famous works.

    Fraser’s career went into decline around the time The Mummy trilogy ended. He worked consistently but never in a film as high-profile as the series that crowned him as a proper leading man. 2010’s Furry Vengeance, a film Fraser also executive produced, was a low-point, although he completely threw himself into 90 minutes of being attacked by wild animals. Maybe the roles weren’t there for him anymore, or maybe his contentious divorce got in the way (in 2013, Fraser petitioned the courts to reduce his alimony and child support payments, asserting he could no longer meet the high costs). Perhaps his greatest crime was simply to visibly age. In an industry where such a thing is an affront and Tom Cruise is forced to be distractingly ageless in the new take on The Mummy, there’s a strange kind of dignity in Fraser refusing to conceal how time actually impacts the body. No nips, tucks or laughable dye-jobs: Fraser just got older, and that seemed unforgivable to the industry, who have an assembly line of leading men waiting to be shipped for maximum efficiency. He’s a 48 year old father of three who looks like one – larger, a bit balder, his face softened at the edges – and that’s meant to be a bad thing.

    It does seem as though Fraser is on the up once again. He appeared in season 3 of The Affair as a menacing prison guard and received many positive reviews for his work. Apparently, creepiness is the accepted alternative to faded beauty. Next, he’ll take a leading role in Danny Boyle’s FX anthology series Trust, as the eccentric private investigator hired to return the kidnapped heir John Paul Getty III to his family, and then join the TV remake of Three Days of the Condor. It seems that Peak TV could be good for Brendan Fraser.
    In a recent TV interview, Fraser was asked about the new version of The Mummy, and while his answer was diplomatic, one couldn’t help but feel rather sad for Fraser. Fortunately, he can sleep soundly knowing that everyone likes his hero better than they like Tom Cruise.


    • This article needs a update. There is a big online following behind Fraser, it’s pretty insane to witness but they had a petition to get him more roles in Hollywood (it has 40,000 signers) and they protested against the Mummy reboot which caused it to flop badly, aside from no one really asking it in the first place:


    • Why most studios don’t want to work with these a-list stars

      By Sigal Charlie Stark, Apr 9, 2017

      Brendan Fraser

      Brendan Fraser could possibly do no better then the original Mummy sequel but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Fraser’s choice in roles were always unusually odd and to a certain extent, a bit abnormal. He lost all credibility with his former audiences following the release of 2 major flops – Extraordinary Measures and Furry Vengeance. Monkey Bone wasn’t really a good choice for the actor, either. Fraser’s acting skills tend to cost more money than they actually make in return. He’s just not a safe investment anymore.


  104. ENCINO MAN (1992)

    This comedy is simple and high concept. One of the reasons it might be remembered is that it is one of the first films of Brendan Fraser. Who here leases harm and comic timing in a role that is almost wordless but very physical. He would never again be quite this loose. As in future films he did have that easy comedic charm and used his body to his advantage in roles in movies like GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, DUDLEY DO RIGHT, BLAST FROM THE PAST and even THE SCOUT. He also seemed to run a parallel frantic career seeking to be taken more serious as an actor. For respectability and career longevity. Which one can understand. Even though he made cameos usually in future Pauly Shore comedies also. Showing he never forgot where he came from.


  105. Nostalgia Critic: The Mummy (1999)

    It’s high swinging adventure, but does the Brendan Fraser hit hold up after all these years?


  106. 11 Celebrities Poised For A Career Comeback In 2018

    Brendan Fraser

    In the ’90s and early 2000’s, Brendan Fraser was one of the biggest and most beloved stars out there. After starring in films such as Blast from the Past, The Mummy, George of the Jungle and Bedazzled, he rapidly fell off the radar. Although he has continued acting, his lack of major roles and his absence from the spotlight has become a hot topic in Hollywood, but after joining the cast of The Affair in a small role from 2016-2017, it looks like fans will be seeing more of Fraser in 2018. Fraser has signed on to star alongside Donald Sutherland and Hilary Swank in FX’s most anticipated new series, Trust, which is set to begin airing in January 2018.


  107. 15 Shocking Actors Hollywood Won’t Cast Anymore


    Brendan Fraser is another actor who doesn’t get as much attention anymore. Fraser saw a solid stretch during the early 2000s as a leading man, but his shtick soon started to wear thin.

    Fraser took in universal acclaim as the lead of the popular Mummy trilogy, but he found himself in an awkward phase where neither his comedy nor his action skills were strong enough to carry him. There’s a reason why his character didn’t make some cute tongue-in-cheek appearance in this year’s Mummy reboot (not that that would have saved it).

    In recent years, Frasier turned to television when his film roles began to dry up. His last real notable movie role included voice work in 2014’s The Nut Job (but notably, he did not return for this year’s sequel).


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