Oscar-nominated actor Brendan Fraser reveals how he made it through The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, despite enduring tons of physical injuries.
Filming The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor took a bit of a toll on Brendan Fraser’s body.
Speaking to Deadline about his early filmography injuries, The Whale star broke down what he did to get through the last Mummy sequel’s action scenes, preparing “like a gladiator with muscle tape and ice packs, strapping on this Transformer-like exoskeleton just to get through the scene.” Fraser was then asked if one motivation for such dedication was self-loathing, to which he admitted, “Absolutely, there was self-loathing. I think on some level I felt I deserved [a beating] and wanted to be the one who got in the first punch.”
Released in 2008, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor — which replaced former mummy villain Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) with the titular Dragon Emperor (Jet Li) — marked the last entry in Universal Pictures’ original reboot of its classic horror franchise. On whether he’d be interested in playing trilogy lead Rick O’Connell again, Fraser showed some interest. “I don’t think I’ve been this famous and unsalaried at the same time in my professional life, so sign me up,” he said. This backs up a statement Fraser made in October about reviving The Mummy franchise, describing himself as “open to it if someone came up with the right conceit.”
Fraser first played RIck in 1999’s The Mummy, a 1920s adventurer recruited by siblings Jonathan and Evelyn Carnahan to find the ancient Egpytian city of Hamunaptra. Upon discovering Imhotep’s tomb, however, they and a group of American treasure hunters unwittingly revive the mummy’s remains, setting him loose on Egypt. The film’s commercial success spawned two sequels, plus spinoff media like The Mummy: The Animated Series and the Dwayne Johnson-led The Scorpion King, the latter of which itself received four sequels. Universal tried to revive The Mummy again in 2017 as part of its Dark Universe franchise, but the Tom Cruise reboot’s negative reception led to all future sequels being canceled.
Brendan Fraser Returns to the Spotlight
In addition to winning Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards, Fraser’s The Whale performance recently earned him a Best Actor nomination for the 95th Academy Awards alongside Austin Butler, Paul Mescal, Colin Farrell and Bill Nighy. Fraser’s Encino Man co-star Ke Huy Quan was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his acclaimed performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once. The multiverse-themed drama is currently up for eleven Oscars, including Quan’s co-star Michelle Yeoh for Best Actress in a Leading Role, making her the first Asian actress nominated for this category.
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