The Whale star Brendan Fraser reflects on how he was resistant to take his breakout role in cult classic Encino Man. The beloved actor saw early success in the 1990s and 2000s, but after taking a long break from Hollywood Fraser is making a comeback. The actor marks his return with a starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, his first major role in 13 years.
Fraser sat down with The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast to discuss his career. Fraser reflected on his path to acting, sharing stories from the beginning of his career and explaining how it all led to his comeback in The Whale. Fraser’s break-out film Encino Man has become a cult favorite, but the actor reveals he nearly passed on the opportunity. Check out Fraser’s full explanation below.
I was resistant to do Encino Man, because I was a proper actor, you see. [Chuckles] I had a degree and everything, School Ties was my first film, it was quite an experience, one that I can probably remember every day of the 58 that we shot. I remember everything that I learned.
What Is The Brenaissance?
Fraser rose to stardom after hit roles in Encino Man, George of the Jungle, and The Mummy, but did not appear in high-profile roles for a number of years. The time out of the spotlight has been difficult for the actor as he dealt with various personal issues, including a series of intense surgeries and the passing of his mother. Fraser made an emotional comeback in 2022 with his celebrated role in The Whale.
His comeback has been branded as the Brenaissance on Reddit and TikTok and has received overwhelming support on social media. The star made his prominent return well worth the wait, with a heartfelt performance in The Whale. Fraser’s comeback is well-deserved and his peers in the industry are celebrating his return as Fraser receives a 6-minute standing ovation at the Venice International Film Festival, a moment that moved him to tears.
The 2023 award circuit has been packed with praise and celebration for Fraser and while it took many years for him to get to this point, his return won’t be short-lived. Now having over a 30-year career that truly kicked off with Encino Man, Fraser’s career has come a long way. His Oscar nomination sets up an exciting new path in his career as the Brenaissance has been long overdue and Fraser can expect more roles to come.
More: Yes, Brendan Fraser’s The Whale Performance Really Is That Good