Brendan Fraser Nearly Died On The Set Of His Best Movie

Brendan Fraser was almost choked to death in a stunt gone wrong while filming The Mummy.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

the mummy reboot

As Brendan Fraser’s long-overdue and most welcome return to the spotlight continues (some people like to call it a “Brenaissance”), the Blast from the Past actor has been making numerous appearances on talk shows and has been filling audiences in on some juicy details about his past films, including the brain damage he suffered. The latest dish comes from his appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where he discussed an incident that happened on the set of the fan-favorite film The Mummy. “I was choked out accidentally,” he said, as reported by Deadline.

Brendan Fraser then went on to describe the event in depth, making long-time Mummy fans like yours truly wince with worry. In the film, there is a scene in which his character, Rick O’Connell, is hanged, but (spoiler alert) he gets cut down at the last second. “I was standing on my toes,” Fraser told Kelly Clarkson, standing up to demonstrate. But, apparently, he didn’t look enough like he was choking for it to register on camera.

So, director Stephen Sommers rushed over and asked Brendan Fraser to really “sell it.” Then the crew basically proceeded to choke him for real. “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,” Fraser explained, “and I was stuck on my toes, and I had nowhere to go but down.”

So, basically, the other guy was pulling the rope up, but gravity was pulling Brendan Fraser down. For one frightening moment, the pretend hanging for the movie became a real one, until the actor nearly blacked out. 

Brendan Fraser

Upon realizing what was happening, the crew immediately let Brendan Fraser down and started trying to wake him back up. He came around and was greeted with the reassuring message: “Congratulations, you’re in the club – the same thing happened to Mel Gibson on Braveheart.”

Understandably, Brendan Fraser wasn’t really sure how to feel about such a dubious honor, but luckily no lasting damage was done. And also luckily, the actor seems to feel the same affection for The Mummy films as audiences do.

At the end of January, Brendan Fraser surprised fans by showing up at a double feature screening of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns in London, where he revealed just how much Britain had influenced the films. They were both filmed in Britain and tested for the first time before British audiences, which is what helped to nail down and define what had previously been its hard-to-pin-down genre. 

Brendan Fraser then went on to invite the audience to watch his new film, The Whale, which has earned him an incredible amount of both critical and audience acclaim. He won a Critics Choice award for it on January 15th and has spent much of his time back in the limelight thanks to his heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of an obese man dubbed “The Whale” as he tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. 

As for The Mummy, Brendan Fraser has made it clear that he would not turn down the right opportunity to make another sequel in the future, according to another Deadline article. He had great fun making the first ones, and he admits that he doesn’t know a single actor who would turn down a good job. Plus, when it comes to a Mummy reboot, in his words,  “I don’t think I’ve been this famous and unsalaried at the same time in my professional life, so sign me up.”