Brendan Fraser’s Transformation For George Of The Jungle Messed With His Brain

In a pairing that delighted '90s kids the world over, Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser recently sat down for an interview as part of Variety's "Actors on Actors" series, serving as both an "Airheads" reunion for the pair and a conversation between two of the biggest and most bankable stars at the end of the 20th century. Fraser had his breakthrough role in the (underrated, if you ask me) comedy "Encino Man," which showed his ability to play a charming, hilarious, and hunky character that has had a pretty unconventional upbringing. This performance, paired with his rising star in Hollywood, made him the perfect choice to play the titular "George of the Jungle" in Sam Weisman's film for Disney.

In talking about the role, Sandler playfully acknowledged that Fraser was "jacked" and so "good-looking" in the film that it disappointed him. "You weren't supposed to do that to us," he joked. "You did right by the character, but you did wrong by us, man. You made us feel bad about ourselves." Sandler's comments were in jest and coming from a playful place, but it's clear, based on Fraser's response, that the preparation for "George of the Jungle" wasn't a particularly positive experience.

"I was waxed. Starved of carbohydrates," Fraser said. "I would drive home after work and stop to get something to eat. I needed some cash one day, and I went to the ATM, and I couldn't remember my PIN number because my brain was misfiring. Banging on the thing. I didn't eat that night." Actors used to be commended for undergoing massive physical changes for a film, often praised for continuing to perform through painful circumstances, something Fraser has admitted to having done on "The Mummy." Fortunately, he now knows that starving himself to the point of mental exhaustion is nothing to praise.

How Far Is Too Far?

Brendan Fraser is just the latest celebrity to speak out about the harmful ways actors physically "prepare" themselves for roles, joining folks like Kumail Nanjiani, who spoke at length about his conflicted feelings about completely transforming his body to play a superhero in Marvel's "Eternals." It's important for actors to speak out about the unrealistic body standards often required of movie stars because these shredded physiques are often only achieved through unhealthy practices and are next to impossible to maintain long-term. 

Fraser has always been a dedicated performer, sometimes to a fault. His injuries during the production of "The Mummy" films are well documented, and he even sustained a bruised rib during his first performance as "Sailor #1" in the film "Dogfight." Now, he's experiencing a career resurgence thanks to Darren Aronofsky's polarizing film, "The Whale," where the actor who once resembled a man chiseled out of marble by Michelangelo himself plays a 600 lb recluse.

Fraser did not undergo any dangerous physical transformations for his latest role, instead donning prosthetics and a fat suit, which itself has its own ethical complications. Fortunately, Brendan Fraser's performance in "The Whale" is continuing to be hailed as one of the year's best, and Oscar contention is almost a given. If there's any justice in the world, Fraser will be offered plenty of quality, fulfilling roles in the wake of "The Whale," without the requirement of changing his entire physical appearance in the process.

Read this next: Adam Sandler's 14 Best Roles Ranked

The post Brendan Fraser's Transformation for George of the Jungle Messed with His Brain appeared first on /Film.

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