“Everyone, please welcome Brendan Fraser.”

The minute those words left my mouth, I could barely believe that I was saying them. 

Earlier this week, Fraser’s new movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival and when the credits began to roll, he received a six-minute standing ovation. The audience was experiencing what I had learned a few months previously: We were fools for ever turning our backs on Brendan Fraser. 

Even now, you’re probably reading this thinking “Oh yeah, Brendan Fraser. I loved him.”

Let me backtrack a bit.  Back in April, I was asked by Calgary Expo to moderate the Q+A with the one and only Brendan Fraser. I, of course, said yes. For nearly two decades, he was one of the world’s biggest movie starts. And despite all of that, I couldn’t find a single story saying a bad thing about him. 

There was this article from GQ, in which Fraser was finally given the opportunity to answer the question: “What happened to Brendan Fraser?”  And like many actors had learned before him, Hollywood is a cruel place that much prefers that the system never changes.  So his stardom faded, and he worked steadily on smaller projects, but unfortunately, many of us just moved on. 

So there I was, backstage at the Calgary Expo, standing a few feet away from the movie star I idolized as a kid. I can specifically remember going to so many of his movies, and there he was standing beside me. We exchanged some quick pleasantries and I went out on the stage to introduce him to the thousands of people who were just as excited as I was. 

Then, splat.

That sound was me falling flat on my face in front of Brendan Fraser. The star of The Mummy, Encino Man, the saddest episode of Scrubs and countless movies, just watched me trip on the stairs, and as I was sprawled out of the ground, he reached out and asked if I was okay. 

It’s not like I would expect a movie star to not ask if I was okay, but of course Brendan was so nice that he did it. Mortified, I said yes, got up off the floor and went out on the stage.  A few moments later, I uttered the words that I never thought I’d say:

“Everyone, please welcome Brendan Fraser.”

@diegoyyc Brendan Fraser at the #CalgaryExpo2022#brenaissance#yyc#fortheboys#fortheladies#fyp#foryoupage#viral#tiktok#trending#foryou#themummy♬ original sound – DiegoYYC Writes

What followed was nearly an hour of conversation, laughter, tears (me, not him) and a lot of insight into his favourite projects. I remember saying to him that even though he fielded about twenty different questions from the crowd, not one of them was about the same project. That’s how varied his career has been. 

And now, thanks to The Whale, it feels like he’s just getting started. 

With that, I’m excited for the Brendan Fraser renaissance, not only because he deserves one, but so we do. Welcome back, Brendan. We missed you.

Mike Morrison