DALLAS — Brendan Fraser is willing to take a lot of abuse in the name of comedy.
The “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Mummy Returns” actor is a certifiable action star, but his character may be as abused in the comedy “Furry Vengeance” as any action hero.
“It’s not easy doing comedy; it actually kind of hurts sometimes,” the actor said in a press tour in support of
his latest film, “Furry Vengeance.” Fraser plays Dan Sanders, a real-estate developer who is in the process of tearing down a forest to develop a housing division. The animals of the forest fight back, and Dan takes most of the abuse. From being hit with boulders, sprayed by skunks and trapped in a portable potty, Dan faces the vengeance of the animal kingdom.
The film is directed by Roger Kumble (“Cruel Intentions,” “Just Friends”) and co-stars Brooke Shields as Dan’s wife, Tammy.
Neal Lyman (Ken Jeong) is Dan’s boss, a multimillionaire who doesn’t care about the forest or the environment. He claims Lyman Properties is a green company, but his only real interest is profit.
“If Ken Jeong is going to be in this movie, and he gets out of the trunk in ‘The Hangover’ wearing nothing but a crowbar, I have to up my game here,” Fraser said. “I want his respect.”
Fraser’s upped game includes leaving the house in his wife’s hot-pink tracksuit after the animals destroy his clothes.
“There was a choice between (hot pink); electric blue, like an ’80s blue; or maybe a lime yellow, but there was actually a problem with the lime yellow (because of the green screen).”
Fraser said his own children inspire him when making all-ages films.
“Having kids changes your life,” he said. “My choices in films, I try to make a point to elevate what’s good about having the things you need as a child.”
He said that kids have a sense of when they’re being talked down to by entertainment.
“You’ve got to make it good for them if you can,” he said. “They’ll push the uh-uh button really quick if they don’t buy it.”
Fraser said the development of computer-generated imagery and effects have made virtually any kind of movie possible.
“If you make it up, it can be created,” he said. “You can do ‘Furry Vengeance,’ for example, and we never even touched an animal. We didn’t have to.”
The movie was filmed on the RED Camera, which uses a hard drive; this makes longer takes possible.
“Roger loved saying, ‘Action,’” Fraser said. “He wasn’t big on saying, ‘Cut.’”
- By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman