Brendan Fraser issues ‘almost an apology’ for ‘George of the Jungle’ Bay Bridge stunt

A blond woman in a white shirt clings to a shirtless man with long brown hair who is waving.
Brendan Fraser as George, left, and Leslie Mann as Ursula in “George of the Jungle.”
(Marsha Blackburn / Disney)

Watch out for that bridge!

“George of the Jungle” star Brendan Fraser joked last week that he had “almost an apology to make” to the city of San Francisco for a scene from the 1997 film that caused a bit of a ruckus on the iconic Bay Bridge.

At a recent Mill Valley screening of his new movie, “The Whale,” Fraser spoke with SFGATE about filming a stunt sequence in which George rescues a distressed parachutist dangling helplessly from the uprights. According to Fraser, Disney hung a deflated parachute and a mannequin hundreds of feet in the air while shooting the bridge scene — alarming civilians and at least one news station.

Brendan Fraser got emotional and cried as audiences at the Venice Film Festival gave a six-minute standing ovation after the premiere of ‘The Whale.’

Sept. 5, 2022

“It brought traffic to a standstill on either side of the bridge,” Fraser recalled.

“My trailer was on the other side in a parking lot. ... I had the TV on, and ‘Oprah’ got interrupted because there was a special news report with helicopters saying a parachute is dangling on the bridge. And I’m going, “Wait a minute.” I’m looking at the helicopters and TV — somebody didn’t pull a permit, somebody’s going to get in trouble with the mayor’s office. So I can only apologize for that.”


The Mill Valley Film Festival screened “The Whale” roughly a month after the Darren Aronofsky drama premiered at the Venice Film Festival. The highly anticipated film received a six-minute standing ovation in Venice that brought Fraser to tears.

‘It’s an impossible role to fill with a real person dealing with those issues,’ Aronofsky said of casting Brendan Fraser in the main role of ‘The Whale.’

Oct. 13, 2022

Recently, Aronofsky responded to criticism he has drawn for casting Fraser, who wore prosthetics and makeup to play a 600-pound, reclusive English teacher who uses a wheelchair.

“We tried to research actors with obesity,” Aronofsky told Variety. “Outside of not being able to find an actor who could pull off the emotions of the role, it just becomes a crazy chase. Like, if you can’t find a 600-pound actor, is a 300-pound actor or 400-pound actor enough?

“From a health perspective, it’s prohibitive,” the director added. “It’s an impossible role to fill with a real person dealing with those issues.”

“The Whale” hits theaters Dec. 9.