Brendan Fraser‘s heyday happened between Les Mayfield‘s Encino Man (’92) and Paul Haggis‘s Crash (’05) — 13-year run, top of the heap, good as it got. The downslide began somewhere between ’08 and ’10 with the third Mummy movie and Furry Vengeance (’10). Fraser endured a rough six or seven years but lately he’s been getting back into it.
Now comes a compassionate, well-written GQ profile by Zach Baron about “the stupendous rise and surprising disappearance of [a] once ubiquitous movie star.”
Fraser has been making a modest comeback on TV over the last couple of years. The first bump came in late ’16 when he played a mournful secondary character in Showtime’s The Affair in ’16. While promoting this re-appearance, Fraser’s AOL encounter with Ricky Camilleri was regarded as one of the saddest such interviews in entertainment history.
Now he’s in FX’s forthcoming Trust, Simon Beaufoy‘s miniseries version of the John Paul Getty III kidnapping saga, and Condor, a miniseries inspired by Sydney Pollack‘s Three Days of the Condor in which Fraser will not play the Robert Redford role but some kind of conspiratorial heavy (possibly a version of “Higgins,” the CIA guy played by Cliff Robertson, or maybe John Houseman‘s character).
I’m going to get hate-bombed for saying this (especially from guys who were in their late teens or early 20s when Encino Man opened and are now in their mid 40s), but one reason Fraser went down is because he began to age out of playing brawny cutie-pie types. He gained weight and started to spread out, and his hair began to thin. Before anyone knew it Fraser had become the new Aldo Ray or Alex Karras.
I don’t know what to say about Fraser’s claim of having been ass-grabbed by former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Philip Berk in 2003. If this had happened to me I would’ve eyeballed the alleged perpetrator and said, “Fuck are you doing? Do you wanna get punched? Keep your fucking fingers to yourself, ayehole.” Or words to that effect.