Brendan Fraser recalls a deadly encounter with a snake on the set of The Mummy. Released in 1999, The Mummy kicked off the franchise for the beloved action-adventure films and further boosted the established career of Fraser.
Directed by Stephen Sommers, The Mummy follows abrasive and reckless Rick O' Connell (Fraser) after he is enlisted by refined English librarian Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) to embark on an archeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra. Rick and Evy (and her brother, Johathan) are faced with imminent peril after a devious group of explorers awakens a mummy who begins to wreak havoc after he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love. Set in the same Indiana Jones-esque vein of endless thrills, ancient artifact hunting, and charming comedic moments, The Mummy quickly became a box office success and garnered a massive fan base. Loosely based on the original film from 1932, The Mummy spawned two sequels including, The Mummy Returns and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Due to scheduling conflicts, however, Weisz’s Evy was replaced by Maria Bello for Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Fraser reprised the role of Rick for all three films, and consistently dabbled with danger on-screen - and off. As reported to EW, Fraser once came face-to-face with a deadly snake on set. While filming in Morocco, cast and crew of The Mummy were constantly warned about the dangers of local wildlife. Fraser remembers a time when the warnings became a reality:
They sent a memo out on the call sheet describing a type of snake that, I think, it had yellow dots on it. They said, ‘If you see this type of snake, do not go near it. Walk - or run away. Because, at best, if it bites you, maybe they’ll amputate your limb. Anyway, there I was, pissing down a rock, and I look down, and there’s a yellow dot snake. I was like 'F---!' I just ran for it.
Luckily, Fraser and the rest of the cast and crew of The Mummy completed filming unscathed. After his formidable run in The Mummy films - which occupied nine years of his life - Fraser dabbled in a handful of projects before taking a break from Hollywood. Currently, Fraser is attached to upcoming television series The Professionals, opposite Tom Welling and Elena Anaya. He is also slated for a leading role in Dalibor Stach’s film Behind the Curtain of Night.
Surprisingly, it is common for actors to sustain danger and injury on set. Leonardo DiCaprio’s cut hand in Django Unchained, Linda Hamilton’s permanent hearing loss from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Daniel Craig’s injury from filming Bond 25, are prominent examples of performers walking away from filming set with scars. Fraser escaped the perils of a venomous bite, however, had he encountered an injury from filming, no doubt his professionalism would lead to the injury being part of the show. 20 years later, fans still enjoy learning about what occurred during the filming of The Mummy.