Brendan Fraser Shares Haunting Reality Behind His ‘George of the Jungle’ Body

The first “episode” of this season Actors on Actors from Variety features a reunion between Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser, who previously starred in the 1994 cult comedy Air heads. In the episode, Fraser spilled some harsh truths about what it took to get the body that helped make him a ’90s icon.

George of the Jungle was my first Brendan Fraser film. It is imprinted on my mind. The film was based on the 1960s cartoon parody of Tarzan which only ran for 17 episodes, but in typical Hollywood fashion, why not dust off an old property and see what happens? While Fraser had been in plenty of films before George of the Jungle, and although the film itself was poorly reviewed, it became a cult classic and made more than double its budget at the box office. Fraser played the title George – a prototypical himbo in a loincloth who is in love with Leslie Mann and torments Thomas Haden Church.

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Following a conversation about stunts, where Fraser brings “crashing into trees for a living,” Sandler talks about how “jacked up” his friend was. George of the Jungle.

“You weren’t supposed to do that to us,” Sandler joked.

Fraser teases back: “The wardrobe was that there was no wardrobe.”

“You did it right by the character,” Sandler continues. “But you did us wrong, man. You made us feel bad about ourselves. Did you get oiled at all during ‘George’?”

“I was waxed […] carbohydrate starvation,” says Fraser. “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. Bang on it. I didn’t eat that night.”

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From Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables to Christian Bale in The Engineer, Hollywood loves to discuss body transformations and how actors eat or change their diet in order to become a character. But when you break down what it takes to make those changes, it can’t help but seem like it’s not worth it. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Kumail Nanjiani have all spoken about having to maintain these inhuman bodies and the pressure it puts on them—especially Nanjiani, who tied him into ideas of toxic masculinity.

Weight management by studios has been part of Hollywood from the start and has caused a series of health problems for many classic stars who used pills and other medications to maintain their figures (eg, Judy Garland). We need to do better to not only celebrate all body types, but move away from occasionally asking actors to lose and gain weight and celebrate them for every weight loss. Commenting on people’s bodies, especially in the public eye, does nothing but perpetuate stigmas. Hotness is different for everyone, so maybe it’s time we start finding new ways to celebrate people we find attractive as well as asking them to dehydrate and stop eating carbs?

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(via: Varietyfeatured image: Disney)

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