Brendan Fraser Recalls Near-Death Experience While Making The Mummy

"The next thing I knew, my elbow was in my ear, the world was sideways and there was gravel in my teeth. And everyone was really quiet."

For Brendan Fraser, it was nearly a wrap on The Mummy.

The Oscar nominee recalled during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show that he was “choked out accidentally” while filming a hanging scene for the 1999 blockbuster, after director Stephen Sommers demanded more realism from his reaction to the simulated pain.

“I was standing on my toes … with the rope [around my neck], and you only got so far to go,” Brenda told the singer-turned-talk-show-host. “And Stephen ran over and he said, ‘Hey, you know, you’re choking – can you sell it?’ And I was like, ‘Alright, fine.’ So I thought, ‘One more take, man.’”

That particular scene saw Brendan’s handsome scoundrel of a character on the verge of execution in an Egyptian prison. While The Mummy made Fraser a leading man and bona fide Hollywood star, it nearly killed him when the stunt went terribly wrong.

“The camera swooped around and I went up on the toes, and the guy holding the rope above me, he pulled it up a little higher. And I was stuck on my toes and I had nowhere to go but down,” the actor said.

“So, he was pulling up and I was going down.”

“The next thing I knew, my elbow was in my ear, the world was sideways and there was gravel in my teeth,” he continued. “And everyone was really quiet.”

Brendan recalled being woken by the stunt coordinator, who leisurely called his name while making clapping noises. The man congratulated the star for joining the club of on-set choke-outs, telling him: “The same thing happened to Mel Gibson on ‘Braveheart!’”

“Thanks, I think?” Brendan replied. “I wanna go home.”

In recent years, Brendan virtually disappeared from the spotlight after accusing Philip Berk, the former president and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, of groping him at a luncheon in 2003.

He’s now enjoying a celebrated comeback after his Critics’ Choice and SAG Award-winning role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale has turned him into an Oscars front-runner this year.

And as for another Mummy film, Brendan wouldn’t mind returning.

“I don’t know how it would work,” he told Variety in October. “But I’d be open to it if someone came up with the right concept.”

You know what to do, Hollywood.


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