The Brenaissance is on, baby. Don’t expect the swashbuckling hero of old: Brendan Fraser is coming back like you’ve never seen him before. You could say, he’ll be larger than life.
Our love for The Mummy star has never faltered, but it would be fair to say it’s re-emerged more potently in recent months. Once a crown hunk of Hollywood, whether he was swinging from vines, battling Imhotep or bedazzling the devil, it was all too strange when he seemed to fall off the grid.
The reality was starker. Fraser believed he’d been ‘blacklisted’ from Hollywood after he was allegedly sexually assaulted by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Depression followed as he retreated from fame. Years later, it’s suddenly a good time for his supporters, of which there’s countless – he’s back, and he’s here to stay.
I sat down with Fraser ahead of No Sudden Move, the latest star-studded heist-gone-wrong yarn from Steven Soderbergh, likely his 10th movie of the year at the rate he polishes them out. Set against the backdrop of 1954 Detroit, a city in flux between corporate tycoons and gentrification, the film follows a small crew tasked with stealing a seemingly document. Let’s just say, it doesn’t go to plan.
It’s a curious, almost unrecognisable role for the actor, playing a hulking middleman at the outset of the crime who sweeps dread into every car, room and alley with his trench coat.
Charisma isn’t an issue; but this particular brand of scene-stealing oomph does feel newly awakened. He wouldn’t be out of place in a gangland thriller – it wouldn’t be a surprise if Martin Scorsese poached him for Killers of the Flower Moon off the back his work here.
Fraser and I only had a few minutes to chat. I told him about everyone on the internet rooting for him, hanging on every headline with good news about a new role or interaction with a fan. I asked him how he felt to be back in the movies, and it was a simple answer: ‘Really good! I’m in a Steven Soderbergh movie!’
Always the humble type, not one to brag, he brought it back to his co-stars. ‘We all are, it’s a nice piece of work, I hope everyone gets a chance to see it,’ he said.
‘We were all pretty glad to have a job in the age of COVID to tell you the truth. We did it – we made the movie. It’s interesting because it actually brought us closer together with all the social distancing required. You care about one another and you’re more concerned for one another’s wellbeing and safety. I think it shows in the ensemble performance in this film to be viewed.’
Time is a cruel mistress, so I swiftly moved on to The Whale, his upcoming A24 movie with director Darren Aronofsky, based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter. It’ll tell the story of a ‘reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption’, the official synopsis teases.
Fraser sported a smile at the mere mention of the movie, but he remained tight-lipped about what to expect. ‘It’s gonna be like something you haven’t seen before. That’s really all I can tell you,’ he said.
Taking a big sip of his water before another knowing grin, the star added, ‘I know I’m here to talk about No Sudden Move but… check it out when it comes out next year.’
No Sudden Move available on Sky Cinema and NOW from October 9 and Digital Download from October 10.
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