Fresh off an Oscar nomination for his performance in ‘The Whale’, Brendan Fraser talks about the ‘self-loathing’ that led him to perform his own stunts early in his acting career – moments that , according to him, had an element of “self”. -sacrifice.”
While Fraser starred in action films like “The Mummy” and “George of the Jungle” early in his career, his discomfort with fame led him to perform his own stunts in order to secure “those physical performance, whether fighting, dancing or acting, had an element of self-sacrifice.
“Absolutely, there was self-hatred,” Fraser said in a recent interview with The Telegraph. “I think on some level I felt like I deserved [a beating]and I wanted to be the one who got the first punch.
While this practice clearly damaged Fraser’s mental health, it also had an irreparable impact on his physical health. He underwent serious surgeries, including vocal cord repairs, partial knee replacement, and a lumbar laminectomy that removed part of the bone in his lower back, all within seven years.
“I hurt myself a little bit after years of doing my own stunts,” he said, adding that he “needed a surgical fix on the spine and hinges.” “It cost me a lot. I knew I would get better, but it took time.
Fraser’s tendency to “sacrifice” his well-being for his projects as a means of truly gaining his success, financial and otherwise, continued during the filming of “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”, the third of the trilogy, in 2007. .
“Every morning I would gather around like a gladiator with duct tape and ice packs, strapping on this Transformer-like exoskeleton just to walk across the stage,” he recalled.
Coupled with allegations that former Hollywood Foreign Press president Philip Berk sexually assaulted him at a lunch party in 2002, Fraser admits those rock-bottom moments “brought [him] at a point in [his] life when [he] need to retreat. »
“And I mean, I’m older now; I don’t look like I did back then and I don’t necessarily want that,” he said. “But I have made peace with who I am now and I am happy that the work I can do is based on an emotional reality that is not my own life, but a reality that I can strongly identify with. .”