Brendan Fraser Gets Candid: Five Things We Learned About the Actor in Revealing New Interview
In a new interview with GQ published on Thursday, Fraser opened up about the intimate details of his life and career
Brendan Fraser is opening up like never before.
In a new interview with GQ published on Thursday, Fraser discussed intimate details of his life and career, including his alleged experience with sexual assault, his son’s autism, his personal health battles and more.
Here are five things we learned about Fraser from the interview:
1. His eldest son is autistic
“Griffin’s rated on the autism spectrum. Um, and so he needs extra love in the world, and he gets it,” he said of his 15-year-old son.
Griffin, he said, is “a curative on everyone who meets him, I noticed. People have some rough edges to them. Or he just makes them, I don’t know…put things into sharper relief and maybe find a way to have a little bit more compassion. They don’t put themselves first so much around him.”
Fraser said he bought a horse to help give Griffin a calming outlet and someone to bond with.
“There’s something good that happens between the two of them. And even if he doesn’t ride him, just give him a brush. The horse loves it, the repetitive motion that kids on the spectrum have that they love,” he said. “And it just works… You know, you have to find those tools, strategies. If I ride, too, I just feel better. I just feel better.”Fraser is also the father of Holden, 13, Leland, 11.
2. He alleges he was sexually assaulted in 2003
The Mummy star, 49, claimed that former Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the non-profit organization that votes for the Golden Globe awards) president Philip Berk sexually assaulted him in the summer of 2003, while at a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel — an alleged incident Berk disputes. The actor says he believes he was blacklisted in Hollywood partly due to the aftermath of the alleged incident.
According to Fraser, the assault happened when Berk reached out to shake Fraser’s hand on his way out of the hotel. “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” Fraser claimed.
The alleged incident left Fraser overcome with panic and fear. “I felt ill,” he said, recalling his emotions after he removed Berk’s hand. “I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry. I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me.”
Berk, who is still a member of the HFPA, also did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment but has denied the assault ever happened to The New York Times.
“Mr. Fraser’s version is a total fabrication,” he also said in a statement to GQ, acknowledging that he wrote a letter to Fraser about the alleged incident. “My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.’”
3. Filming stunt-filled movies took a serious toll on his body
“I believe I probably was trying too hard, in a way that’s destructive,” Fraser said. “By the time I did the third Mummy picture in China [in 2008] I was put together with tape and ice — just, like, really nerdy and fetishy about ice packs. Screw-cap ice packs and downhill-mountain-biking pads, ’cause they’re small and light and they can fit under your clothes. I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily.”
His injuries led to multiple surgeries, including a laminectomy, a back procedure to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. But, “the lumbar didn’t take, so they had to do it again a year later,” Fraser said.
He also had a partial knee replacement, more back surgeries to bolt compressed spinal pads together, vocal cord repair and other procedures. Fraser said that he essentially spent seven years going in and out of the hospital.
“This is gonna really probably be a little saccharine for you,” Fraser said. “But I felt like the horse from Animal Farm, whose job it was to work and work and work. Orwell wrote a character who was, I think, the proletariat. He worked for the good of the whole, he didn’t ask questions, he didn’t make trouble until it killed him. … I don’t know if I’ve been sent to the glue factory, but I’ve felt like I’ve had to rebuild s— that I’ve built that got knocked down and do it again for the good of everyone. Whether it hurts you or not.”
4. His mom died in 2016
Fraser made headlines after a video of him promoting The Affair went viral. In the interview, the actor appeared sad, speaking in a near whisper for the duration of the video.
His mother had died of cancer just days before the interview.
“I buried my mom. I think I was in mourning, and I didn’t know what that meant,” he said, adding that he hadn’t done press in several years. “I wasn’t quite sure what the format was. And I felt like: ‘Man, I got f—— old. Damn, this is the way it’s done now?’ ”
5. He’s thankful for his role in George of the Jungle
Though Fraser wore nothing but a loincloth for the majority of the film, the actor looks back on his time as the king of jungle fondly.
“I look at myself then and I just see a walking steak,” he said.
The film eventually grossed $175 million.
“The naïf cum babe in the woods cum new guy in town cum man-boy cum…visitor-in-an-unusual-environment conceit was, uh…was very, very good to me,” he said.