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!”
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