George of the Jungle is a favorite of kids and parents alike who have seen the video time and time again. But now its lead, Brendan Fraser, is starring in a very different role. CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen reports.
Fraser stars in a modernized version of the classic 1932 film The Mummy. It's a suspense/horror/comedy/adventure/romance epic a la Indiana Jones.
The story centers on a group of treasure seekers in the Sahara Desert in 1925. Stumbling upon an ancient tomb, the hunters unwittingly set loose a 3,000 year old legacy of terror, which is embodied in the vengeful reincarnation of an Egyptian priest who had been sentenced to an eternity as one of the living dead.
Fraser portrays Rick O'Connell, a swashbuckling mercenary who leads an expedition to the legendary City of the Dead.
"Rick O'Connell is not your typical hero," Fraser says. "He's more of an accidental hero, a 'here-we-go-again' type of hero. He's not a dumb-luck hero, he's sometimes the brains and sometimes the brawn of the situation."
His character goes on to battle the evil force of the ancient priest, and save the Earth from its wrath.
But in real life, Brendan himself almost fell victim to The Mummy. In an interview with Mr. Showbiz, Fraser described the incident.
Early on in the made-in-Marrakech adventure, Fraser's character is hanged on a gallows. What happened on the set during take one, however, wasn't scripted. According to Fraser, "They killed me for 18 seconds."
"I was hanging from the noose standing on a board," Fraser explains. "Take one, and Steve [Sommers, the writer-director] said, 'The noose doesn't match the stunt guys'. Can we bring up the tension a little bit, and we'll have it.' They did the take and the camera was on a spin that goes 180 degrees and it shows the prisoners shouting, and then comes down on me at the end of the noose.
"I figured, 'I'll get oxygen and hold my breath,' and I was up on my toes and something went wrong Â— and the next thing I knew, I was waking up."
How does Fraser feel in retrospect, now that he's had a near-death moment?
"I didn't like it Â— and it hurt," he said.
The son of a Canadian tourism official, Fraser was well-traveled by the time he came to Hollywood.
Born in Indianapolis and raised in Europe and Canada, Fraser has been dedicated to his craft since the age of 12, when be began attending London theatre performances. He and his wife, Afton, live in Los Angeles.
His screen credits include, Still Breathing, George of the Jungle, Encino Man, Airheads, and Mrs. Winterbourne. He will next be sen in the title role of Dudley Do-Right and Monkey Bone.