Brendan Fraser almost died while making ‘The Mummy’

How much would you give for your job? Sometimes I’ll write through lunch, but that’s only if I’ve had a mid-morning snack. Not Brendan Fraser, though. He almost died to make a shot more realistic for The Mummy. He was a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show when she asked him about a scene in The Mummy that left him unconscious. Brendon said they’d been filming the bit in which he’s hanging a few times, but director Stephen Sommers didn’t feel Brendan looked like he was actually choking on the end of the rope. So he asked Brendan to do it one more time, only this time with more suffering. And that’s what Brendan did, unwittingly. As the guy holding Brendan’s rope pulled higher, Brendan went lower and next thing he knew, he was coming to with his mouth full of gravel.

Brendan Fraser revealed that he “nearly” died while filming one particular scene in The Mummy.

In the first installment of the franchise, there’s a hanging sequence, and the rope around his neck tightened too much during the shot.

“I was standing on my toes like this, with the rope [around my neck], and you only got so far to go,” Fraser said on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “And [director] Stephen [Sommers] ran over, and he said, ‘Hey, it doesn’t really look like you’re, you know, choking — can you sell it?’ And I was like, ‘All right, fine.’ So I thought, ‘One more take, man.’”

When the director went in for the last take, Fraser stood on his toes, and the crew member holding the rope above him pulled it a little higher.

“I was stuck on my toes — I had nowhere to go but down,” The Whale actor told the host. “And so he was pulling up, and I was going down, and the next thing I knew, my elbow was in my ear, the world was sideways, there was gravel in my teeth, and everyone was really quiet,” he recalled.

When the stunt coordinator woke him, he cheerfully told him, “Congratulations, you’re in the club — the same thing happened to Mel Gibson on Braveheart.” The actor joked that he could only respond, “Thanks, I think?! I wanna go home!”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

This made me think of Quentin Tarantino actually choking Diane Kreuger in Inglorious Basterds for a realistic take. I know he asked and Diane agreed but it’s too much. The audience doesn’t need a snuff film to believe what’s going on. And for heaven’s sake, was anyone really asking that much realism from The Mummy of all things? It was a fun film and well done, but we were kind of taking a leap of faith walking into the theater, you know? I’m sure whatever face Brendan was making would have sufficed.

I’m posting the clip below. Basically, THR covered it but at the end, Kelly asked about the Braveheart thing and brought up a great question – what happened to Gibson? Was he accidently flayed? Drawn and quartered? I realize we may want to know now for different reasons, but it still piques one’s curiosity.

Justin Ng and Jerry Perez/Avalon and YouTube

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11 Responses to “Brendan Fraser almost died while making ‘The Mummy’”

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  1. Denise says:

    You go through all that, walk the extra mile and then Hollywood still spits you out the moment you speak about abuse

  2. Looty says:

    The whole Rust thing really opened my eyes to how little safety matters on some of these sets.

    • SomeChick says:

      it’s tunnel vision. remember the movie about Greg Allman that never happened because they were shooting on a freaking train track without permission and someone got hit by a train and killed? there are probably a ton of close calls that no one will ever hear about. to say nothing of people driving big trucks around after 14 hour days. safety isn’t even third.

    • Nanea says:

      And that’s why I applaud people like Chad Stahelski, the director of the series of ‘John Wick’ movies, for adding the gunshot discharge in post production.

      He knows what can happen on sets.

      He was Brandon Lee’s stuntman on ‘The Crow’ and the film was finished using Chad’s body, and digitally replacing his face with Brandon’s.

  3. Polly says:

    I always wondered how they filmed that scene safely because on screen it looked so realistic. I guess now we have the answer – they didn’t film it safely. How awful.

  4. Lucy says:

    I’ve always watched the mummy when it’s in, it’s so fun. Not worth choking over. I watched George of the Jungle for the first time in years the other night, I had forgotten a lot of it.

    Only watch if you want super silly Brendan being super naked and ridiculously good looking. It’s a funny and cute movie. He’s so talented.

  5. Nicegirl says:

    Love 💕 Brendan

  6. AnneL says:

    Too many stories like this come out of Hollywood. Isla Fisher was filming a scene where she had to be in a giant tank of water, and she got stuck in there for a potentially deadly amount of time because of a technical glitch or something. It’s a terrifying scenario and so is this one.

    Brendan is such a sport. He’s a fine dramatic actor but he also has great comic flair. I remember laughing so hard at him in “Bedazzled” where he wakes up and discovers himself speaking Spanish fluently.

  7. Athyrmose says:

    Quentin did something similar with Uma as well, causing a car crash that injured her. These men have to be stopped.

    • Christine says:

      I remember that. They do realize that “suffering for your art” is just a phrase someone came up with, and not a goal? Good for Brendan, tell all of the tales about your abusive industry.