Everyone loves a good comeback story, and that's why Brendan Fraser's return to Hollywood has been the biggest buzz recently. Branden Fraser was considered a household name from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. With his good looks, charming personality, and impressive acting skills, it was clear he was going to become the next big thing. He started being featured in Hollywood's biggest blockbusters like The Mummy and Encino Man. It seemed like his career had only one way to go, and it was up. However, in 2003, his career came to a halt. Fraser was a victim of sexual assault by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which led him to be blacklisted from Hollywood. Due to the scandal, Fraser lost all his roles, and new opportunities, leading to a ban from the entertainment world. Despite all the setbacks, he remained committed to his passion and continued working on smaller projects. It wasn't until The Whale that his career skyrocketed. The Whale, produced by A24 studios and written by Samuel D. Hunters, tells the story of an obese man trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter. The role truly illustrates how the actor is a force to be reckoned with, and how Hollywood had lost a huge talent. But, how did all of this happen?
Brendan Fraser was born on December 3, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana to two parents working in the travel industry. Since a young age, he had a passion for performing. Fraser's family moved frequently during his childhood, he lived in Canada, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. During his high school years, he moved to Toronto and started to notice how his passion for acting start to grow even more. After graduating, he decided to pursue acting professionally. He attended Seattle's Cornish College of Arts, where he studied acting and earned his degree in fine arts. It was here that he developed his skills and prepared himself for his life in the entertainment industry. Fraser began his acting career in the early 1990s, appearing in smaller roles in movies and television shows. He landed his first major role in Encino Man in 1992, which skyrocketed his career in the business. He began to grow and evolve over the years, and he took different parts in a wide range of films and shows. He became adored by his loving personality and his versatility as an actor. He also had depth and nuance in all his performances, truly engaging the audience. It seemed like everything was running smoothly for the actor, until 2003.
In 2003, the Hollywood actor went to lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. While there he was sexually assaulted by the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk. Berk called the incident a total fabrication, the HFPA launched an investigation around the incident, but it lead to nothing. Due to Fraser speaking out, he was blacklisted from the entertainment business. He had no work, no role, and did not have a voice anymore. It seemed like he lost everything, which left Brendan completely hopeless. "It's about being stripped of your identity, and of a power play being pulled to tamp it down, and being sort of backhandedly complicit in it by keeping quiet, entering into an agreement that you won't talk," Fraser told GQ in 2018.
Fraser got a new chance in life with his role as Charlie in The Whale. The movie follows an obese man trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter and also trying to reconnect with himself. In the movie, Fraser had huge mental and physical struggles. He had to first get into the mind of Charlie and truly understand how an obese person sees themselves. But, the physical progress of creating Charlie was very extensive. The actor's prosthetic transformation weighed about 300 pounds and took around 6 hours to produce daily. The actor's amazing work paid off and gained him recognition again in Hollywood. In the recent award season, Fraser was considered one of the hottest celebrities. Fraser even won an Academic Award for his performance in The Whale.Brendan Fraser's "Brenaissance" reminds us that second acts are possible for people of all genders and ages. Even if you "peaked" early, you can still get a second chance. Fraser had to rebuild himself in the public eye, idolizing him for his success and not being scared to say the truth about being a victim. If you're of an age where Brendan Fraser was a ubiquitous part of your childhood or adolescence, you might be starting to feel washed, where you feel past it, and even if it's not happening to you, it's probably happening to people you know. But, as Fraser stated in his SAG Awards acceptance speech, "...if you stay in there and put one foot in front of the other, you'll get to where you need to go".