Brendan Fraser Had Brain Issues From Filming His Worst Movie

By Jessica Scott | Published

brendan fraser

Beloved actor Brendan Fraser may have been at peak attractiveness in George of the Jungle, but the actor certainly suffered for his art. To stay in perfect physical condition for the role, Fraser starved himself to the point of losing his memory. According to MovieWeb, Brendan Fraser realized the extent of his starvation-based forgetfulness when he went to take out some money from an ATM one night. “I couldn’t remember my PIN number,” he said, “because my brain was misfiring.”

George of the Jungle, while considered by many to be one of the actor’s lesser works, was one of the films that made Brendan Fraser a household name. Released in 1997, it was based on the 1960s animated parody cartoon of the same name, which itself was based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan

brendan fraser

Like Tarzan, the character of George was raised by an ape and lived in the African jungle with wild animals. He is brought to the attention of the common folk when a traveling heiress named Ursula (Leslie Mann) and her fiance, Lyle (Thomas Haden Church), find that the legendary “White Ape” they have been hearing about from the locals is actually a man. 

After saving her life when she is attacked by a lion, George takes Ursula back to his treehouse, where she is pulled into his quirky world. A talking gorilla, a toucan named Tookie and an elephant that acts like a dog make for great companions, and she finds herself more than willing to give up her posh life for George’s jungle fun.

Also like the original Tarzan, the character of George wore nothing but a loincloth as he swung around the jungle he ruled over. While this attire most certainly played a role in convincing Ursula that jungle life was the life for her (not to mention those abs!), it also led to the actor having to work hard to maintain a certain body type during filming.

Not only did Brendan Fraser have to work hard to lose weight and get more sculpted in the first place, he also had to make sure he didn’t revert to his previously less-defined shape for the entirety of filming. Just one cheeseburger or a nice cold milkshake could be very costly in this case, and the actor worked hard (maybe too hard?) to resist temptation.

As other actors like Christian Bale can tell you, losing (or gaining) weight for a film is no joke. It requires commitment to a strict diet or, in Brendan Fraser’s case, even skipping meals. 

While this isn’t the healthiest thing to do, his dedication to his craft paid off. The film earned more than $170 million at the box office and 25 years after its release, George of the Jungle is still a fan favorite – and we’re betting that not all of those fans are in it for the plot.

One wouldn’t be surprised if the role of George would have made Brendan Fraser think twice about changing his weight for a movie role in the future. But he’s at it again in his latest movie, The Whale, in which he plays a morbidly obese recluse trying to reconnect with his daughter, Ellie, played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink. This time, though, the actor was able to gain (a lot of) weight instead of losing it, so maybe he had an easier time remembering his PIN number.