Why is 'The Mummy' actor Brendan Fraser trending on Twitter? 'The guy is criminally underappreciated'

The Canadian-American actor has not been seen in a major film for years

BUSY TONIGHT -- Episode 1103 -- Pictured: Surprise guest Brendan Fraser on the set of Busy Tonight -- (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
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Every once in a while, the internet throws up a random name and it starts trending on Twitter. On Sunday, it was Brendan Fraser, the Canadian-American actor best known for his Hollywood films in the 1990s.

Why? Just because fans love him.

"I'm imagining Brendan Fraser's publicist calling him like 'You're trending on Twitter' and him going 'Oh God, what did I do' and she says 'Um ... you're trending because everyone loves you' and I hope that gives him a warm fuzzy feeling," wrote Twitter user @madlori.

Another, @KyleGallner, added: "The guy is criminally underappreciated."

Fraser, now 52, has not been seen in a major box-office hit for years. So long, in fact, that when he played a small role in FX series Trust in 2018, TV Guide declared it the start of a "Brenaissance".

Fans on Sunday began sharing their favourite films starring Fraser. Of course, The Mummy series was top of everyone's list.

"It was the perfect casting choice," wrote one commenter. "He was so fun opposite Rachel Weisz ... they had great chemistry together."

In the 1999 Oscar-nominated film, the first in a trilogy, Fraser played American adventurer Rick O'Connell, who gets caught up in a kerfuffle after someone accidentally wakes up a cursed priest from the time of the Pharaohs.

It was such a massive success that it spawned two sequels: The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), both also starring Fraser.

But fans on Twitter also brought up some of Fraser's other greatest hits, including his debut film, the comedy Encino Man (1992), also known as California Man, and George of the Jungle (1997).

One fan also praised Fraser's range in the 2000 comedy Bedazzled, in he played a number of characters, including Abraham Lincoln.

One of Fraser's last major roles was in the 2010 comedy Furry Vengeance, in which he plays a real-estate agent who faces off with a bunch of animals that are trying to protect their forest reserve. The film was widely panned.

In a 2018 interview with GQ, entitled What Ever Happened to Brendan Fraser?, the actor alleged he was sexually assaulted by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the body that organises the Golden Globes, in 2003. The HFPA said it investigated the incident, but did not make its findings public, citing concerns over witness confidentiality.

After the GQ interview, the HFPA issued another statement saying it has "always" taken the allegations "very seriously", but that it ultimately found the incident was "not an intended sexual advance".

"I became depressed," he told the publication of the time following the encounter. “I was blaming myself and I was miserable. That summer wore on – and I can't remember what I went on to work on next.”

The experience made him retreat from Hollywood, he said. "It made me feel reclusive.”

DUBAI-DECEMBER 15,2008 - Actor Brendan Fraser walks in the red carpet on the 5th day of the Dubai International Film Festival at Madinat Jumeirah. ( Paulo Vecina/The National) *** Local Caption ***  PV DIFF 5.JPGPV DIFF 5.JPG
Actor Brendan Fraser at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2008. Paulo Vecina / The National

Fraser also spoke about how working on action films, particularly the three Mummy films, had taken a physical toll on him. "I was put together with tape and ice … I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily." He added that the injuries resulted in several surgeries, including a laminectomy, a partial knee replacement, back and vocal cord surgeries that amounted to seven years in and out of hospitals.

"I felt like the horse from Animal Farm, whose job it was to work and work and work," he said. "I don't know if I've been sent to the glue factory, but I've felt like I've had to rebuild [expletive] that I've built that got knocked down and do it again for the good of everyone. Whether it hurts you or not."

FORT WORTH, TX - MARCH 31: Brendan Fraser from DC Universe?s Doom Patrol stands on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on March 31, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas.   Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR/AFP (Photo by Jared C. Tilton / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
Brendan Fraser stands on the grid prior to the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series on March 31, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. Getty Images

Fraser, who has three children with ex-wife and actress Afton Smith, will next be seen in Ocean's Eleven director Steven Soderbergh's next film, No Sudden Move.

The crime thriller features an ensemble cast, including Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm and Ray Liotta. Production wrapped in November 2020, but no release date has been announced yet.