The highlight of Brendan Fraser’s Oscars night was winning the Academy Award for best actor thanks to his acclaimed performance in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” but perhaps in second place was a long overdue reunion with megastar Dwayne Johnson. The two actors starred together nearly 22 years ago in “The Mummy Returns,” the sequel to Fraser’s 1999 blockbuster “The Mummy” that marked Johnson’s film acting debut in Hollywood.
“Very cool full circle moment here with my long time buddy Brendan Fraser and his sons,” Johnson wrote on Instagram along with a video of the two actors reuniting backstage at the 2023 Oscars. “My very first film of my Hollywood career was ‘The Mummy Returns,’ which Brendan was the star. Lots of critics and cynics betting against me at that time, but Brendan welcomed me with open arms and was very supportive. I never forget kind people.”
Johnson added, “Now years later, Brendan wins his Oscar for best actor in ‘The Whale’ and I went on to become famous for wearing a fanny pack. Congratulations, brother — enjoy your flowers.”
Johnson made his Hollywood debut in “The Mummy Returns” as Mathayus of Akkad/The Scorpion King. The sequel earned $435 million at the worldwide box office and led to Johnson’s own spinoff movie “The Scorpion King” in 2002. “The Scorpion King” was the first Hollywood movie to be headlined by Johnson, who has since become a billion-dollar grossing box office star.
Fraser’s emotional best actor acceptance speech was one of the highlights of the 2023 Oscars. “I started in this business 30 years ago, things didn’t come easy to me but there was a facility that I didn’t appreciate at the time, until it stopped,” he noted. “I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgement.”
Johnson, who presented at the 2023 Oscars, was championing Fraser throughout the awards season. Back in September following the world premiere of “The Whale” at the Venice Film Festival, Johnson shared a video of Fraser choking up during a standing ovation for the film and wrote, “Man, this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan. He supported me coming into his ‘Mummy Returns’ franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success, brother.”
Johnson and Fraser also share a second Hollywood connection thanks to Warner Bros.’ “Journey to the Center of the Earth” franchise. Fraser headlined the 2008 original, while Johnson took over as the star of the 2012 sequel “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”