November 2003
Looney Toons: Back in Action: An Interview with Brendan Fraser

Interviewed by Alberlynne "Abby" Harris

Looney Toons: Back in Action
An Interview with Brendan Fraser

“The Looney Tunes: Back in Action” makes for a wonderful family adventure that takes you around the world and on a trip down memory lane with familiar Warner Bros. favorites Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The experienced Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman play the human characters. sat with Brendan as he described for us what its like to Co-star with Bugs and Daffy in this real life adventure incorporating animation.

AH: Are you just the master of shadow boxing or what?

BF: Well, I don’t think about it. It’s like being in a stage play. You are supposed to hit the other actor. Well, you don’t really want to hit the other person. You might hurt them. But with this, there is no one there, so you can swing and as much as you want. Like with The Mummy, you could just hack away. But when there is a guy there in a suit, you have to pull your punches a little because you really do not want to take their arm off. In this case it’s a matter of believing that there is some physical element that you have to work with. As long as I believe it, then the audience will.

AH: Are you always so animated yourself or do you have a serious side?

BF: I’ve been very fortunate to have been presented with material that is wildly divergent from the other. To be able to be a part of this privilege, to do it in a manner that people like it and want it is my very good fortune or dumb luck or a combination of all of the above. Yes, films that have appeal internationally or are more easily digested are important to allow an actor to have a certain cache when it comes to more thoughtful work. In my personal view I think that actors should present themselves in a new way each time they come out. In my case, I like to balance some of the larger pictures with smaller ones.

I am what the script tells me. That’s what you have to go off of. You should do or should know, based on what is on the page. But then, even with this film, we made up some of it on the fly. It’s kind of the process.

AH: Was this film appealing because of the take off of Superman, Indiana Jones, and James Bond?

BF: I’m playing Brendan Fraser’s stunt man who is moonlighting as a security guard on the Warner Brothers lot. He’s in the shadow of his father who is this mega famous guy. I meet myself at the end and punch me out! Come on, that’s allowed because it’s a Warner Brother’s cartoon. In the grand tradition of the 1930’s and 1940’s they were always in tune with what was happening with where we were as a society, what was popular with movies and books. The crazier the storylines became, and they wanted that. They were the Anti-Disney. At Disney, they were holding hands and getting along. At Warner Brothers’ they were cross-dressing and hitting each other over the heads with mallets. It was great fun and kids were watching it and loving it. The parents appreciated it too. Anyone who disagrees is really missing out.

AH: How did you come to know the WB characters?

BF: In 1975, on Saturday mornings. I was in my pajamas, my face glued to the screen. Does that count?

AH: Who is your favorite character?

BF: I would have to say Bugs. He’s the carrot chomping, cool man, never a hair out of place. He is never easily impressed. He’s always funny and has the world’s best sidekick…Daffy. No matter where you go in the world, to this day, he is known. His career is very interesting.


AH: Did you actually do the voice for the Tasmanian Devil?

BF: I just demonstrated it one day and Goldberg (the wrestler) pulled me to the sound stage.

AH: We have not seen much of you lately. Did you take a break?

BF: Yes, I had a baby boy. He’s 14 months.

AH: How has it changed you?

BF: Not much. I feel more comfortable in my skin. I know how to love a little better. I am a lot happier. I think about what it means to do the right thing. It’s a little slow organic thing that happens. The thing is, you don’t know it until you do it.

AH: Did you ever make choices about films because of an expectation that one day you would have children?

BF: I think that I picked stuff that I would want to see. I don’t want brownie points from my own child. Children grow up. One day he might pop in a tape of what I’ve done.