The man called The Rock started out as a WWE superstar, but proved to have the talent and charisma to power a movie career. And he would get his first big break in 2001’s The Mummy Returns, as the mercenary-turned-king Mathayus. Brendan Fraser was the star of the sequel to the first Mummy film along with Rachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo.
Although Fraser has had professional and personal difficulties since then, the actor has been enjoying a career resurgence in recent years. What did Dwayne Johnson have to say about Brendan Fraser? Check out the details below.
Tearful standing ovation
Brendan Fraser took on the most challenging role of his revitalized acting career in The Whale. While Fraser has been back in the limelight with a fan-favorite role in HBO Max's Doom Patrol as Robotman/Cliff Steele and an aborted take on the villainous Firefly in the cancelled Batgirl film, this is his first big screen starring credit since 2010’s Extraordinary Measures.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Fraser portrays Charlie in the film. The role required the actor to wear heavy prosthetics in order to depict the character’s obesity. According to an interview with Variety, Fraser had to wear a body suit weighing an extra 50 to 300 lbs. The actor shared his experience as such:
I developed muscles I did not know I had. I even felt a sense of vertigo at the end of the day when all the appliances were removed; it was like stepping off the dock onto a boat in Venice.
Fraser continued by saying how he appreciates those who suffer from being overweight:
It gave me appreciation for those whose bodies are similar. You need to be an incredibly strong person, mentally and physically, to inhabit that physical being.
Director Aronofsky noted that the film took 10 years to make, but the casting of Fraser was key. The role of Charlie was apparently more difficult to find the right person than it seemed:
I considered everyone — all types of different actors, every single movie star on the planet. But none of them ever really clicked. It just didn’t move me, or feel right. A couple years ago, I caught a trailer from a Brazilian movie, a low-budget movie, and I saw Brendan in the trailer and a light bulb went off.
The Whale recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival and the film received high praises from its audience.
By the end of the screening, the crowd gave a standing ovation, that lasted 6 minutes, directed at the performance of Brendan Fraser, who became emotional due to the overwhelming positive response.
The Rock responds
After the screening of The Whale at the Venice Film Festival and standing ovation went viral, Dwayne Johnson took to social media to congratulate both Brendan Fraser and Darren Aronofsky.
On his official Twitter account, Johnson recalls Fraser’s support for the WWE icon’s first movie role and calling Fraser his brother.
Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan. He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky. #TheWhale 👏🏾 https://t.co/SNBLPHHmEZ
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 4, 2022
Dwayne Johnson’s role as Mathayus in The Mummy sequel would eventually lead to his own spinoff film, The Scorpion King (2002). This would later lead to more leading roles in genre films such as Doom (2005), Get Smart (2008), Race to Witch Mountain (2009), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and many others.
While he has not forgotten his pro wrestling roots in the WWE, Johnson has become one of Hollywood’s most bankable box office stars, with his various films grossing over $10 billion worldwide. He is set to make his DC Extended Universe debut as Black Adam on October 21, 2022.
Meanwhile, The Whale is targeted for a North American theatrical premiere on December 9, 2022.