Dwayne Johnson Reacts to Former Costar Brendan Fraser’s Emotional Ovation Moment

by Craig Garrett

Dwayne Johnson was ecstatic for his Mummy Returns costar Brendan Fraser, who received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. On Sunday, fans of Fraser were delighted to learn that the actor had received a lengthy standing ovation at the prestigious Venice Film Festival for his performance in director Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. Among those pleased admirers was Johnson, who made his debut movie appearance in 2001’s Fraser-starring The Mummy Returns. Johnson shared his delight for Fraser on his Twitter. 

“Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan,” Johnson wrote. “He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky.”

In the 2001 sequel to The Mummy, Brendan Fraser returned as Rick O’Connell, while Johnson took on the part of the Scorpion King. John’s character later starred in his own spin-off, 2002’s The Scorpion King. In The Mummy Returns, Brendan Fraser didn’t get a chance to work with Johnson directly. Johnson’s character had taken on a supernatural form by the time Fraser’s character faces off with him.

“[Johnson] was a big orange piece of tape on the end of a long two-by-four while I was working [on the film], Fraser told EW in 2019. “We jumped and ducked and weaved as he thrashed and smashed around at us,” Brendan Fraser explained. “I met him at the premiere for the first time and said, ‘Hi! How do you do!’ I sure liked meeting him very much and then ran into him a couple of times in the ensuing years. I was excited for him because this was the first time that he was allowed to be an actor. He wasn’t just the go-to muscles guy. He was transitioning from the wrestling world and it was fun. It was neat. I feel happy to have known him back in the humble beginnings times when we were all kind of starting off.”

Brendan Fraser’s career is bouncing back

In The Whale, Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound middle-aged man consumed by demons from his past. When his estranged 17-year-old daughter reenters his life, Charlie tries to make amends and come to terms with long-neglected mental and physical health problems. Fraser is already getting awards buzz for his acting in the role. The Whale debuts in theaters on December 9th.

In the meantime, Fraser is enjoying a career resurgence. After alleging sexual assault against one-time HFPA president Phillip Berk, the actor went through his own series of real-life personal setbacks, including fallout from his statements. Brendan Fraser himself battled depression. Some of this was due to the chronic pain he suffered after performing his own stunts in his action films. The actor further injured himself while clearing a fallen tree after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. However, after several surgeries, the actor seems on the mend.