Outside of Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs offense, there’s potentially no greater winner from this past weekend than longtime actor and noted Good Guy™️, Brendan Fraser. While all of the film world had its eyes focused in on grainy 480p footage of what may or may not have been Harry Styles spitting on his ‘Don’t Worry Darling' co-star, Fraser quietly stole the show at the very same film festival in Venice. His performance in Daren Aronofsky’s ‘The Whale’ received an emotional 6-minute standing ovation from the colleagues and critics in attendance, followed by tweets and articles calling it a “performance of a lifetime” and an early Oscar-frontrunner.
Why should you care? Even as someone who stays up on all the news out of the movie & tv industry like a theater kid version of Adam Schefter, I’d normally say you shouldn’t. Stories out of Hollywood are almost always self-important, facetious, and not in line with the values of the Common Man™️ (read: normal, functioning society)
But this is different. If you wondered what happened to Brendan Fraser the past 2 decades or so following a disappointing third film in The Mummy franchise, here’s the CliffsNotes:
- Sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive (yes, it happens to men too) and was subsequently blacklisted
- Went through a divorce that can only be described as an emotional, psychological, and financial nightmare
- Two franchises which he helped build and lead to box office success (The Mummy, Journey to the Center of the Earth) were rebooted and recast without him
- Underwent a litany of surgeries and physical therapy due to nearly crippling himself performing stunts for the aforementioned franchises
- His mother lost her battle with cancer soon after, launching him into depression
How he’s come back from this is what’s important in the story. He didn’t attempt to rebrand who he was as a person – which is something celebrity culture is all too familiar with. He stayed true to who he was: a fun (albeit at times goofy), genuine, and wholesome guy. The worst thing anyone can say about him is that he’s Canadian.
He’s enjoyed success more recently in projects like DC’s Doom Patrol and Steven Soderbergh’s ‘No Sudden Move’, but the crowning moment for the Brennaissance looks to be when ‘The Whale’ hits theaters in the US on December 9th. You can be out on modern Hollywood, but don’t give up on Brendan Fraser – he sure hasn’t.
Make sure to subscribe to Lights, Camera, Barstool where we’ll be discussing Fraser’s big weekend and much more on this week’s episode.