Pop culture has mused about Brendan Fraser’s absence for the past few years, but always in passing: the once-ubiquitous actor has been preserved in awkward gifs, memey videos, and feverish Reddit discussions. A full explanation for why the 90s Hollywood juggernaut seemingly vanished has been absent. But a candid new feature piece in GQ goes a long way to explain where Fraser went, and hints at more to come.
Speaking to Zach Baron, the original The Mummy star exposed a litany of factors that pushed him further away from the spotlight.
Fraser explained the extreme toll of his on-screen physicality, as told through countless surgeries and stints in hospital; his work ethic, which paradoxically thrust him into films with less box office appeal than George Of The Jungle or Journey To The Center Of The Earth; deaths in his family; and an incident of alleged sexual misconduct from a Hollywood heavy-hitter.
Fraser stated at a 2003 luncheon held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – the group behind the Golden Globe Awards – he encountered former president Philip Berk. The actor graphically alleged that Berk intentionally and forcefully groped Fraser’s behind.
“Am I still frightened? Absolutely,” Fraser said. “Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely. Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.”
He said he didn’t report the incident, but did seek an apology from the Association and Berk. Berk admitted to pinching Fraser in jest but denied any further wrongdoing.
While he was reticent to state the Association blacklisted him after the experience, Fraser did admit the experience “made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive.” But the piece ends with a suggestion Fraser, in full retention of his acting talents, is manoeuvring back into the spotlight.
You can, and should, read the full piece HERE.
If you would like to talk to a counsellor about sexual harassment, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.
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