“Bedazzled”: Brendan Fraser Interview

NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2000 — “Tall, dark and handsome” is Brendan Fraser‘s moniker when we think about his movie roles. So it’s surprising to see him play a geek, a man trenched in desire enough that he’ll make friends with anyone — including the devil!

“Bedazzled,” Fraser’s new film, follows the hapless Elliot Richards, who is lured down the wrong path by a sexy, smarty-pants Satan (Elizabeth Hurley). She is the fallen angel who captures men’s souls while fulfilling their every wish.

“Elizabeth and I had a lot of fun together. She’s a very beautiful woman and a very confident woman,” Fraser said about his luscious co-star. “She has a master in both of those disciplines and she knows it. She also gets the joke about the pretty girl in movies and what makes people laugh.”

The six-foot-three, 31-year-old actor is also the master of several disciplines. The star of “The Mummy,” “Blast From the Past,” “Dudley Do-Right” and “George of the Jungle” has been a heartthrob since audiences first laid eyes on his Neanderthal physique in “Encino Man.” Fraser’s charm and natural comic ability is startling especially when you realize that he’s equally capable of dramatic poignancy, as seen in “Gods and Monsters,” “School Ties” and “With Honors.” He’s worked hard, and the early hype about him has proven to be prophetic.

“I always approach comedy roles pretending they aren’t funny,” says Fraser. “And I don’t believe that wishing works like Elliot. I think we get the things that we work for.”

Born in Indianapolis and raised in Europe and Canada, Fraser attended the Actor’s Conservatory at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle before embarking on his career. He’s just completed “The Mummy Returns,” a sequel to the 1999 hit, and he’ll reunite with his “Bedazzled” co-star Frances O’Connor on the London stage in “Cat On the Hot Tin Roof.” Fraser will also be seen in the supernatural adventure “Monkeybone” and the Vietnam thriller “The Quiet American” in 2001. But what he’s really looking forward to his spending time at home with his wife, Afton Smith.

“I’m starting to judge success by the time I have for myself,” Fraser says. “The time I spend with family and friends. My priorities aren’t amending; they’re shifting.”

“Bedazzled” opens Oct. 17.

— Veronica Mixon