Brendan Fraser Says Extreme Diet For Role Made His Brain 'Misfire'

The actor recalled an alarming moment at an ATM that made him realize what he had put his body through.
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Brendan Fraser, who is experiencing a career renaissance for his portrayal of a 600-pound man in “The Whale,” recently recalled starving himself to play the ripped lead in 1997’s “George of the Jungle.”

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“I was waxed, greased, starved of carbohydrates,” Fraser told Adam Sandler in a Variety Actors on Actors segment posted Tuesday. “I would drive home after work and stop to get something to eat. I needed some cash one day, and I went to the ATM, and I couldn’t remember my PIN number because my brain was misfiring. Grrrr! Banging on the thing. I didn’t eat that night.”

Sandler, who co-starred with Fraser in “Airheads,” joked to Fraser that his “jacked” physique in “George of the Jungle” made other actors “feel bad about ourselves.”

Fraser suggested he had no choice, given he had to wear essentially a loin cloth as a man raised by apes. “The wardrobe was that there was no wardrobe,” he said.

“The Mummy” star has been collecting awards buzz for “The Whale,” which earned him a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival that brought him to tears.

Fraser told Sandler that although he appreciated the talk of a comeback, “I was never that far away.”

Fraser physically transformed into Charlie, his character in “The Whale,” with prosthetics but said he sensed the role would make demands on his entire being.

“I knew that I would have to make a statement of sorts,” Fraser said. “I’d have to reinvent myself.”

Other actors have spoken out about the pressure to change their physique for roles and the toll it takes on their mental and physical health.

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