‘I’m not opposed to it’: Brendan Fraser confirms he is open to reprising his role in The Mummy film franchise

Brendan Fraser has confirmed he is open to reprising his role in The Mummy film franchise.

The actor, 54, who played adventurer Rick O’Connell in three of the movies, was speaking during an interview on Deadline’s The Actor’s Side about his career.

He told host Peter Hammond that although he does not know any details about a reboot, he is not against returning.

Brendan added: ‘It’s kind of an open-ended question for some time now. I’m not opposed to it, I don’t know an actor who doesn’t want a job.

‘I don’t think I’ve been this famous and unsalaried at the same time in my professional life so sign me up!’

Brendan, who recently appeared in film The Whale, also spoke about his other acting moments including his work on George of the Jungle and Encino Man.

It comes after Brendan took a swipe at Tom Cruise’s reboot of the franchise in October.

The actor said the 2017 box office flop ‘lacked the fun’ seen in 1999’s The Mummy, 2001’s The Mummy Returns and 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Brendan, who is hotly-tipped for awards season success with his role in The Whale, told Variety: ‘It is hard to make that movie. The ingredient that we had going for our Mummy, which I didn’t see in the new one, was fun.

‘That was what was lacking in that incarnation. It was too much of a straight-ahead horror movie. The Mummy should be a thrill ride, but not terrifying and scary.’

Oscar-nominee Cruise had hoped to breathe new life into The Mummy franchise, but it was lambasted by critics and ended up losing Universal Studios between $60-100million.

In contrast, 1999’s The Mummy made $416.4million against an $80million budget.

IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote at the time: ‘All of this is to say that not only is The Mummy the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made, it’s also obviously the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made — it stands out like a flat note on a grand piano.’

Brendan shot to stardom when he was cast in children’s favourite film franchises George of the Jungle and The Mummy.

His chiselled physique earnt him a position as a Hollywood heartthrob as he thrashed around the sets performing stunts in high-action roles. But Fraser revealed in a later interview the toll the stunts had taken on his body.

Alongside his physical injuries, Brendan also revealed in a 2018 GQ interview that he believed he had been blacklisted from Hollywood after he claimed he had been sexually assaulted by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003.

After Fraser reported the claim to the HFPA he said he believed he may have been ‘blacklisted’ and was rarely invited back to the Golden Globe awards.

Fraser said the incident had caused him to ‘retreat’ as he spiraled into depression. He described feeling ‘not worthy’ as the decade wore on, leading him to take roles he was less proud of.

Meanwhile, his marriage was also falling apart. He divorced wife Afton Smith in 2007 after nine years of marriage and three sons together, Griffin, Leland and Holden.

As part of the settlement, he was ordered to pay $50,000 a month in spousal support.

In 2013 he sought an amendment to the agreement asking to pay less, claiming he wasn’t earning the same enormous cheques he had received in the 1990s during his heyday and couldn’t afford the payments.

The Whale marked Brendan’s first Hollywood project in almost ten years and Brendan’s first lead role in a movie since straight-to-DVD thriller Breakout in 2013, leading many fans to believe it was a comeback.

It is a psychological drama which saw Brendan undergo a physical transformation, as he played a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair, a role for which he also had to wear prosthetics.

After making his film debut as a sailor in 1991 film Dogfight alongside River Phoenix, Fraser’s big break came the following year in Encino Man.

He played the character of Link, a caveman who had been frozen for centuries and is thawed by two high school students who teach him about modern life.

Following the success of the film, he was cast in children’s favourite film franchises George of the Jungle and The Mummy.

His unbelievably chiseled physique earnt him a position as a Hollywood heartthrob as he thrashed around the sets performing stunts in high-action roles. But Fraser revealed in a later interview the toll the stunts had taken on his body.

He told GQ in 2018 that when he filmed the third installment in The Mummy franchise, he was being taped up and was icing injuries in between takes.

He said the physical toll of his roles made him feel like a workhorse from the Orwell novel Animal Farm.

After rising to fame through the action-packed films, Fraser described his buff physique as resembling ‘a walking steak’.

However, in the same interview the actor revealed he believed he had been blacklisted from Hollywood after he claimed he had been sexually assaulted by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003.

He told his then wife, Afton Smith, about the incident but never made it public. Instead, his reps asked Berk for a written apology, which he provided, but did not admit any wrongdoing.

Speaking to GQ about the claims, Berk acknowledged he had written a letter of apology to Fraser but insisted he had not done anything wrong and dismissed Fraser’s account as ‘a total fabrication’.

After Fraser reported the claim to the HFPA he said he believed he may have been ‘blacklisted’ and was rarely invited back to the Golden Globe awards. Fraser said the incident had caused him to ‘retreat’ as he spiraled into depression.

He described feeling ‘not worthy’ as the decade wore on, leading him to take roles he was less proud of. Meanwhile, his marriage was also falling apart.

In 2016, his career picked up when he was cast in Showtime drama The Affair, starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson.

While promoting the role in 2016, Fraser sat down for an interview with AOL – but his demeanour during the chat raised alarm with his fans.

As he stumbled over his words and appeared somewhat spaced out, people began to worry he was ‘depressed’. However Fraser later revealed his mother had passed away from cancer just four days before he filmed the interview.

He said he hadn’t done any press for a role in a long time and added he was ‘in mourning’ when the interview took place.

By 2018 Fraser’s career appeared to be back on track as he starred in FX series Trust alongside Hollywood heavyweights Donald Sutherland and Hilary Swank.

He plays James Fletcher Chase, a former CIA agent who was hired by billionaire J. Paul Getty in 1973 to find Getty’s kidnapped grandson.

After the series debuted, Vox reported it could be the beginning of the ‘Brendan Fraser renaissance’ – and as rumours swirl Fraser may be in line for several awards following his performance in The Whale, that prophecy may have come true.

 

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