Brendan Fraser was once a major movie star. He was in beloved classics like The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. He made audiences swoon with George of the Jungle. And then, years ago, his career just ... vanished.
In a stunning new interview, he's revealing exactly what happens. Part of Fraser's story is a #MeToo story.
Be warned -- he gets pretty detailed, but it's definitely worth the read.
Brendan Fraser's GQ interview is a powerful but grim look into the life of a fallen star.
The title, "Whatever Happened To Brendan Fraser," really sets the grim tone.
There are sweet parts -- it opens talking about his horses, how his teenage son is on the autistic spectrum and enjoys the repetitive action of brushing the horse and that the horse appreciates it.
He mentions that a number of factors pushed him away from the acting spotlight.
He had multiple surgeries for injuries on film sets (seriously, this guy's movie career is the story of injury after injury), his mother passed away from cancer, and he went through a painfully contentious divorce.
But one big factor was his very own #MeToo story.
Brendan Fraser describes his accusation against Philip Berk, former President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, in an alleged incident from a 2003 luncheon.
"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."
That is a description of sexual assault. And Brendan Fraser talks about how that broke him down.
"I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry."
Countless victims blame themselves, for what happened to them and for how they responded. Brendan Fraser is among them:
"I became depressed ... I was blaming myself and I was miserable -- because I was saying, ‘This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel.’"
Brendan Fraser admires the bravery of the stars who've come forward as part of the #MeToo movement. He even knows some of them.
"I know Rose [McGowan], I know Ashley [Judd], I know Mira [Sorvino] -- I’ve worked with them. I call them friends in my mind."
Like with many friendships, they've grown apart.
"I haven’t spoken to them in years, but they’re my friends."
He applauds the courage of the people who stepped forward and are helping to make the world a better place.
"I watched this wonderful movement, these people with the courage to say what I didn’t have the courage to say."
He did eventually receive an "apology" letter from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but he says that it wasn't a real apology.
"My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.’"
He says that, after that, he started receiving viewer and fewer invitations to the Golden Globes.
This is a movie star, folks. This is a man whose role in George of the Jungle was a sexual awakening for plenty of Millennials. And he just ... stopped being invited.
"Am I still frightened? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely."
But, like countless others, he did not.
"Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely."
This is heartbreaking.
But there's good news -- his career is getting back on track after this lengthy hiatus.
He's on The Affair and he'll be on the upcoming FX series, Trust.
One can't help but wonder how his career and life might have gone differently if the culture that enables sex monsters to act with impunity were a little bit different.
We should note that perhaps the best part of the episode is when Brendan Fraser gets emotional and processes it by firing a bow and arrow before offering it to his interviewer to try.