PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Brendan Fraser

By Adam Hetrick
30 Oct 2010

Brendan Fraser
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Did you take a look at the original source novels?
BF: Sure, oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

 

Were they a help?
BF: Yeah, they are. They are and they aren't. Like, for instance, Denis has stayed away from the film. He's never seen it, doesn't want to yet. I didn't even know it was a play, and I was enamored of the film itself, and probably saw it six or seven times just for pleasure. [Laughs.] And of course, the source materials are important, but that's just all part of your research. You take it, you don't, you find new things in the rehearsal process, which certainly I know I am doing. Everyone is. Now that we're getting into…run-throughs — there's less value placed on all the choices that you're making and you really learn that it's about burning calories [Laughs] and picking up your cues, and just get out of your head and stop acting and get on with the work. It's really very exciting.



Being primarily a film actor, it's got to be pretty unique when you start previews and have an immediate reaction from an audience.
BF: Well, I'm interested to see what happens, because, look, it's billed as a comedy, but if you play a comedy as a comedy — and I do know this to be true — it's not funny. [Laughs.] It's just not. If you treat comedy like a straight-ahead drama, then if your aim is to succeed in making people laugh, I think that you probably will get that one across a lot better. So I think that the preview period is really going to be interesting because it's going to teach me a lot about what I need to do in order to get it right. And then, of course, I'm looking forward to the whole run of it, for having had the experience of the arc of a performance over an entire run. We have 20 weeks, so that's a lot of time for me to learn how to get my job done right. [Laughs.] By closing night, I'll have it down!