Brendan Fraser says he was so ‘starved of carbohydrates’ while filming ‘George of the Jungle’ that his brain ‘was misfiring’


    By Eve Crosbie, Insider

    7th December 2022 – Brendan Fraser said he was so “starved of carbohydrates” while filming the 1997 comedy “George of the Jungle” that it messed with his memory.

    “The Whale” actor reminisced about his role and diet for the 1990s comedy during a discussion with his former “Airheads” costar Adam Sandler for a Variety Actors on Actors conversation.

    The film, which also starred Leslie Mann and John Cleese, was a spoof of the Tarzan story and saw Fraser play a man who had been raised by apes after a plane crash stranded him in an African jungle as a baby.

    Sandler noted how “jacked” Fraser got for the role and joked: “I was very disappointed by how good you looked in that. You weren’t supposed to do that to us.”

    “The wardrobe was that there was no wardrobe,” Fraser said in defense of his look in the film. “George eats bananas and swings around all day and wears a loin cloth.”

    Brendan Fraser and Leslie Mann in "George of the Jungle" (1997).
    Brendan Fraser and Leslie Mann in “George of the Jungle” (1997). 

    “You did right by the character, but you did wrong by us, man,” Sandler continued to rib him. “You made us feel bad about ourselves.”

    This prompted Fraser to get very real about the realities of achieving his character’s muscular-but-lean build for the film.

    “I was waxed, greased, starved of carbohydrates,” the 54-year-old actor recalled. “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,” he continued. 

    Fraser then mimicked flying into a rage and told Sandler that he was “banging on the thing” out of frustration.

    “I didn’t eat that night,” he added.

    Sandler then noted how “terrible” it is for actors when they have to follow a strict diet or workout regime for “four months of whatever it is” to get into shape for a movie role.

    Brendan Fraser as Charlie in "The Whale."
    The also discussed the actor’s new movie “The Whale,” which has also seen him undergo a transformation. 

    Their conversation then moved on to Fraser’s new movie, “The Whale,” in which he plays a man with eating issues. “My heart was broken throughout the whole movie,” Sandler said.

    During a recent interview with his longtime friend Freddie Prinze Jr. for Interview magazine, Fraser spoke about his process of transforming into reclusive, obese English teacher, Charlie, who struggles to connect with his estranged daughter throughout the critically-acclaimed film.

    Fraser said that while he used prosthetics to physically transform into his character, he was also able to get into Charlie’s mindset because of a very personal reason.

    “I have three kids of my own. My oldest son Griffin has special needs. He’s autistic,” Fraser told Prinze Jr. “He just turned 20. He’s a big kid. He’s six foot five. He’s got big hands and feet, a big body.” 

    “I understand intimately what it is to be close to a person who lives with obesity,” the “Mummy” star said.