Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser admitted that past self-loathing caused him to accept physical pain and injuries while working.
The actor, who recently scored his first Oscar nomination for The Whale, recalled to The Telegraph how he suffered wear and tear on his body early in his Hollywood career, requiring surgeries like a partial knee replacement, among other procedures.
“I got a little banged up from years of doing my own stunts and needed a surgical fix on the spine and the hinges,” said Fraser, 54, adding of recovery, “That took a lot out of me. I knew I would get better, but it took a long time.”
When he was making 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in China, Fraser would suit up “like a gladiator” every day using “muscle tape and ice packs, strapping on this Transformer-like exoskeleton just to get through the scene.”
He added, “Absolutely, there was self-loathing. I think on some level I felt I deserved [a beating] and wanted to be the one who got in the first punch.”
RELATED: Brendan Fraser on Movie-Star Comeback: ‘I’m Waiting for Someone’ to ‘Tell Me That the Jig Is Up’
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Society
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Fraser also reflected aging and his body changes, explaining he’s “older now; I don’t look the way I did in those days, and I don’t necessarily want to,” when looking back on his physique for 1997’s George of the Jungle.
“But,” he continued, “I’ve made peace with who I am now. And I’m glad that the work I can do is based in an emotional reality that’s not my own life but is one that I can strongly identify with.”
RELATED VIDEO: Brendan Fraser’s Sons Join Dad at The Whale Screening in N.Y.C.
Reacting to his Best Actor nomination last week, Fraser said in a statement he is “absolutely overjoyed and deeply grateful to The Academy for this recognition and for recognizing [costar] Hong Chau’s beautiful performance and Adrien Morot’s incredible makeup.”
“I wouldn’t have this nomination without [director] Darren Aronofsky, [writer] Samuel D. Hunter, A24 and the extraordinary cast and crew who gave me the gift of Charlie,” he continued. “A gift I certainly didn’t see coming, but it’s one that has profoundly changed my life. THANK YOU!”
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