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Brendan Fraser: The injustice, divorce, and depression that drove him away from Hollywood

Por: Yazmín Veloz9 de septiembre de 2022

Brendan Fraser was absent from Hollywood due to several traumas he went through in the past years.

Brendan Fraser’s reaction, who was moved to tears by the standing ovation he received last weekend at the Venice Film Festival, went viral because the actor had been away from the spotlight for years. Fraser was one of the most popular and beloved actors of the 1990s and early 2000s. His face was in every blockbuster comedy and action movie. How can we forget his roles in films such as Bedazzled, The Mummy, and George of the Jungle?

Despite all this success, Brendan suddenly disappeared from Hollywood, and when he returned, he was attacked for the drastic change in his physique that made him look almost unrecognizable. Although he continued to act in some films, such as No Sudden Move, the reality is that a decade went by without him getting a leading role.

That’s why his great comeback in The Whale, where he plays an obese professor who leads a lonely life and wants to win back his teenage daughter, is already being talked about, as it has received good reviews, and there is a lot of speculation that he could be nominated for an Academy Award for his performance.

What happened to Brendan Fraser?

In the face of his spectacular comeback, many are wondering what happened to Fraser who simply disappeared from the screens so abruptly.

Physical exertion was a limiting factor

The actor declared that his decision not to use stuntmen for his action roles, as well as the great physical effort he put his body through to play them and maintain his figure, took a heavy toll on his health.

In 2008 he revealed to GQ magazine that for almost seven years he underwent multiple operations, including surgeries to relieve pressure on his spine, several more on his back, a partial replacement of one of his knees, and even a repair of his vocal cords, “I think I probably tried too hard, in a destructive way,” he said.

The death of his mother

The actor fell into a deep depression in 2016 when his mother passed away, even a video went viral in which Fraser is seen declining in an interview:

“I had just buried my mother. I think I was grieving and I didn’t know what that meant I hadn’t done press in a while and all of a sudden I was sitting on a stage in front of an audience, promoting the third season of a show I had barely been on,” the actor stated.

He suffered abuse

The actor stated that after several years he felt that in his films his physique was something he was hired for and that no one took him seriously as they saw him as “a piece of meat.” But he kept one more secret that he was able to openly tell until the Metoo movement came out.

In 2018 the actor confessed that journalist Philip Berk molested him in 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel after a luncheon hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Although the journalist argued that it was all a joke, Fraser didn’t take it that way and felt traumatized: “It made me feel sick. I felt like a kid with a lump in my throat. I thought I was going to start crying,” he explained.

Fraser claimed that he fell into a deep depression after the incident, as he felt guilty about what happened, plus because of the confession, he felt that the journalist blacklisted him from being hired by anyone: “The phone stops ringing, and you start to wonder why,” he stated. “There are many reasons, but was this one of them? I think so,” he said.

A million-dollar divorce

In 2007 Brendan began divorce proceedings with Afton Smith, his wife of nine years, with whom he had three children.

His ex-wife got $900,000 a year in alimony and child support, at the rate of $75,000 a month. The problem came when Fraser could no longer pay that amount due to lack of work, and she sued him for alleged “fraud.”

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

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