Brendan Fraser Wasn’t Fully Sure He Wanted to be Superman

By | February 10, 2023

Brendan Fraser recently revealed that he auditioned for the role of Superman in the early 2000s, a role he didn’t get due to what he described as a blend of shenanigans and a poor screen test.

During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Fraser revealed that he, along with what he described as “everyone in town,” did audition for the role of the superhero in the early 2000s. The audition was for a film that was, at the time, being developed by J.J. Abrams. According to Fraser, he realized that getting the chance to play the character would be life-changing, but struggled with the idea of only ever being known as Superman if he got it.

“Everyone in town was reading for Superman. They were testing six or seven guys in 2002 or 2003,” said Fraser, who name-dropped Paul Walker as one of the men reading for the role. “Of course it’s a life-changing, amazing opportunity, but I had to reconcile with, ‘Okay, say you do get the job to be the Man of Steel. It’s going to be chipped on your gravestone. Are you okay with that? You will forevermore be known as the Man of Steel.’ There was a sort of Faustian bargain that went into [the] feeling, and I think inherently I didn’t want to be known for only one thing, because I prided myself on diversity my whole professional life. I’m not a one-trick pony.”

Ultimately, Fraser didn’t end up getting the role, something he chalked up to what he calls “shenanigans and studio politics,” but what he also acknowledged might have been a bad screen test due to not being fully committed to the idea of playing the role.

“I felt disappointed that there was an amazing opportunity, and it didn’t come to fruition,” Fraser said. “It had to do a lot with shenanigans and studio politics, and, probably, inherently, in my screen test. I think that’s why you test — they could kind of see I was only there like 98% instead.”

Following a bit of a hiatus from the world of acting, Fraser has burst back onto the scene, starring in the critically acclaimed The Whale, a role for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Up next, he’ll star in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.