Brendan Fraser reveals he nearly died filming 'The Mummy' after stunt went very wrong

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By VT

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Brendan Fraser has been enjoying a comeback recently, but both his career and his life almost came to an end in 1999 when he suffered a near-fatal injury while filming The Mummy.

Broadly speaking, The Mummy was a difficult movie to film. Taking place mostly in Morocco and the blistering heat of the Sahara, the cast and crew were required to stop filming every two hours in order to drink a special liquid devised by the medical team to avoid dehydration.

Sandstorms and venomous wildlife were persistent issues on set, and there were multiple instances where people had to be airlifted to receive treatment after getting bitten by snakes and stung by scorpions.

Amidst all this, during one of the film’s early scenes, Fraser’s character Rick can be found locked up in an Egyptian jail, where he is about to be hanged.

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Credit: ScreenProd / Photononstop / Alamy

While filming the scene Brendan was suspended in the air by a rope as his jailers attempted to execute him, but almost ended up getting choked out for real after the crew fastened the noose too tightly while filming the harrowing scene.

"I did get fully choked out," Fraser told Entertainment Weekly in a 2019 interview.

"It was scary. Rick is dangling at the end of the rope, and he's such a tough guy that his neck didn't snap.

"We did the wide shot, which was the stuntman going down, and he had a harness on, and it looked great. Then they've got to go in [for a close-up].

"There was a hangman's gallows, and there was a hemp rope tied into a noose that was placed around my neck."

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Credit: Maximum Film / Alamy

Brendan says he did his best choking acting on the first take, but director Steve Sommers insisted on doing a second with even more tension on the rope.

He added: "So, the stuntman took up the tension on the rope, and I went up on the balls of my feet, then guess he took the tension up again, and I'm not a ballerina, I can't stand on my tip-toes.

"I remember seeing the camera start to pan around, and then it was like a black iris at the end of a silent film.

“It was like turning down the volume switch on your home stereo, like the Death Star powering down.

When the star regained consciousness he was on the ground with gravel in his ear. He was greeted by an EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) who was calling his name and reportedly said: "Hi! Welcome to the club, bro! Ha ha ha!"
Sommers however, recalls the incident a little differently.

“[Brendan] is totally to blame,” the director said. “He tightens the noose, and then, as we’re about to get the shot, he’s trying to make it look like it’s really strangling him.

“I guess it cut off his carotid artery, or whatever, and knocked him out. He did it to himself”

However, Fraser disagreed with Sommers' take, and insisted that all he did was follow the directions he gave him.

Following the remark, he said: "Stephen needed to sell that Rick was actually choking, so, technically yes, it was my fault, that I was following direction from my director to sell it," Fraser said.

"You know what? I did make one fatal error. I figured before the camera lands on me, I'd take three really deep breaths, so my face turns purple and my veins pop out of my neck. I'd really f**ing sell it, you know!"

Yet despite the disagreement, the pair have remained friends throughout the years and worked together on two more occasions in 2001’s The Scorpion King and 2009’s G.I Joe.

Featured image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy

Brendan Fraser reveals he nearly died filming 'The Mummy' after stunt went very wrong

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Brendan Fraser has been enjoying a comeback recently, but both his career and his life almost came to an end in 1999 when he suffered a near-fatal injury while filming The Mummy.

Broadly speaking, The Mummy was a difficult movie to film. Taking place mostly in Morocco and the blistering heat of the Sahara, the cast and crew were required to stop filming every two hours in order to drink a special liquid devised by the medical team to avoid dehydration.

Sandstorms and venomous wildlife were persistent issues on set, and there were multiple instances where people had to be airlifted to receive treatment after getting bitten by snakes and stung by scorpions.

Amidst all this, during one of the film’s early scenes, Fraser’s character Rick can be found locked up in an Egyptian jail, where he is about to be hanged.

size-large wp-image-1263182892
Credit: ScreenProd / Photononstop / Alamy

While filming the scene Brendan was suspended in the air by a rope as his jailers attempted to execute him, but almost ended up getting choked out for real after the crew fastened the noose too tightly while filming the harrowing scene.

"I did get fully choked out," Fraser told Entertainment Weekly in a 2019 interview.

"It was scary. Rick is dangling at the end of the rope, and he's such a tough guy that his neck didn't snap.

"We did the wide shot, which was the stuntman going down, and he had a harness on, and it looked great. Then they've got to go in [for a close-up].

"There was a hangman's gallows, and there was a hemp rope tied into a noose that was placed around my neck."

size-large wp-image-1263182893
Credit: Maximum Film / Alamy

Brendan says he did his best choking acting on the first take, but director Steve Sommers insisted on doing a second with even more tension on the rope.

He added: "So, the stuntman took up the tension on the rope, and I went up on the balls of my feet, then guess he took the tension up again, and I'm not a ballerina, I can't stand on my tip-toes.

"I remember seeing the camera start to pan around, and then it was like a black iris at the end of a silent film.

“It was like turning down the volume switch on your home stereo, like the Death Star powering down.

When the star regained consciousness he was on the ground with gravel in his ear. He was greeted by an EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians) who was calling his name and reportedly said: "Hi! Welcome to the club, bro! Ha ha ha!"
Sommers however, recalls the incident a little differently.

“[Brendan] is totally to blame,” the director said. “He tightens the noose, and then, as we’re about to get the shot, he’s trying to make it look like it’s really strangling him.

“I guess it cut off his carotid artery, or whatever, and knocked him out. He did it to himself”

However, Fraser disagreed with Sommers' take, and insisted that all he did was follow the directions he gave him.

Following the remark, he said: "Stephen needed to sell that Rick was actually choking, so, technically yes, it was my fault, that I was following direction from my director to sell it," Fraser said.

"You know what? I did make one fatal error. I figured before the camera lands on me, I'd take three really deep breaths, so my face turns purple and my veins pop out of my neck. I'd really f**ing sell it, you know!"

Yet despite the disagreement, the pair have remained friends throughout the years and worked together on two more occasions in 2001’s The Scorpion King and 2009’s G.I Joe.

Featured image credit: Maximum Film / Alamy