Brendan Frasers terrifying near-death experience filming The Mummy: Had to be revived

The Mummy Returns Official Trailer #1 – Brendan Fraser Movie (2001) HD

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The Mummy airs on ITV today at 4:25pm. The period horror-adventure, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, sees a party of archaeologists, led by American adventurer Rick O’Connell, discover a tomb containing the 3,000-year-old remains of a murderous Egyptian priest, Imhotep. When the mummy is accidentally disturbed, he unleashes his terrifying powers on those who have desecrated his resting place. Remarkably, Brendan once revealed how he nearly died on set while shooting the film, which was released in 1999.

In an interview with EW in 2019, Brendan was marking the 20th anniversary of the film when he told the story of how he nearly choked to death filming a scene where his character is hanged.

He said: “I did get fully choked-out. 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.

“The first take, I’m doing my best choking acting. Steve says, ‘Can we go for another one and take up the tension on the rope?’ I said, ‘All right, one more take.’

“Because a noose around your neck’s going to choke you in the arteries, no matter what. So, the stuntman took up the tension on the rope, and I went up on the balls of my feet, then I 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. I regained consciousness and one of the EMTs was saying my name. There was gravel in my ear and that s*** really hurt.

“The stunt coordinator came over, and he said, ‘Hi! Welcome to the club, bro! Ha ha ha!’ And I was like, “Ha ha, funny? Ha ha?’ Like, What the hell? I want to go home! Steven — he and I disagree — but I think he was trying to go, ‘Oh, that wacky Brendan, acting up a storm again!’, or something like that. I was like, ‘Hey, you guys think what you need to, but I’m done for the day.’”

The director of the film, Stephen Sommers, viewed the scare differently, however, putting the blame on Brendan.

He said: “[Brendan] is totally to blame. 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.”

Brendan then conceded he was at least partly to blame.

He responded: “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.


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“You know what? To be fair to that remark, I did make one fatal error. I figured before the camera lands on me, I will take three really deep breaths, so my face turns purple and my veins pop out of my neck. I’ll really f****** sell it, you know!

“That had to have been a [lesson in how] to asphyxiate yourself. I mean, that had to have been it. So, you know what? In me pointing fingers at Stephen, and vice versa, you got me on that point.

“I was doing my job to look like a man dangling by his neck about to die. I got to say, what you see in the movie is the take that they did, so they had to cut away, because moments later, I was out of it.”

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