Mr.Nice GuyHOLLYWOOD'S MUMMY HUNTER, BRENDAN FRASER, EXPLAINS HIS INNER QUEEN AND WHY BELGIAN GIRLS DO IT BETTER AND OFFERS SOME PECULIAR ADVICE FOR THE YOUNGSTERS
Go ahead and try to find an actor who has kept his nose cleaner than Brendan Fraser, who in his 14-plus years in movies has avoided the requisite young-man-out-of-contorol antics. No DWIs, no hotel room trashings, not even a five-miniute marriage to a Playmate. Blame Canada, that oppressively well-adjusted country, when Fraser spent much of his childhood before making his one-line debut in Dogfight(1991), starring River Phoenix. Since then, as well as delivering critically lauded performances (The Quiet American) and block-busters (the Mummy franchise), Fraser has put that sleepy-eyed Labrador gaze to use playing a defrosted naif (Encino Man), a tree-swinging naif (George of the Jungle), and a subterranean naif (Blast From the Past). This month, check out Fraser flexing a darker musde as the politically slippery Los Angeles DA in Crash, directed by Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis. Fraser, now 36 and dad to two boys (ages two and nine months), may have picked up a thing or two watching one slippery politician operate...on his wife. -ANDREW GOLDMAN
ELLE: What's your most feminine quality?
Brendan Fraser: I have no fear of product. Friends say I'm the straightest guy they know with the gayest taste - not sure if that's a compliment.
ELLE: It is unless you're wearing chaps.
BF: No chaps, but I do own a Leatherman, that hand tool that fixes things.
ELLE: You've had some fancy haircuts over the years. Any you'd like removed from the record?
BF: The dead squirrel from Encino Man. Actually, I won't apologize for any hairstyle. Everybody has bad hair decades.
ELLE: Is there anything about women that will forever be a mystery to you?
BF: Why are they generally nicer smelling, more reasonable, curvier, and infinitely more interesting to look at than men?
ELLE: I bet you smell pretty good, with all that product. What woman is your guilty fantasy?
BF: Mo Collins from MADtv.
ELLE: Not that Gap Troll, I hope.
BF: No, no, no. Remenber Stuart's mon? And that old Midwestern lady? That's Mo.
ELLE: How does your wife feel about this? And Mo Collins?
BF: My wife approves. Mo doesn't know I exist.
ELLE: What were the first words you ever spoken to your wife?
BF: I think it was "Whoa!" I met Afton when her dog bounded into the kitchen of a party I was at. I was hiding by the guacamole, and Wiley came running through the house and stuck her snour firmly in my groin. This very pretty girl wearing cutoff overalls followed. She looked at me and said, "Wiley. what did you find?"
ELLE: What's the one thing you should never say to a woman?
ELLE: Did you ever go through the Hollywood-asshole phase?
BF: Yes. It was less about women and more about self-destructive behavior. A lot of brooding. If I met myself then, I'd kick my ass.
ELLE: Would you really be able to kick your former self's ass?
BF: Right now I couldn't kick the ass of me 10 years ago. Back then I was built like twisted blue steed; now I'm more like a bag of Twizzlers.
ELLE: Do you remember your first crush?
BF: Not her name, but I know the exaxt date:7/7/77. My brothers and I were in Belguim for the summer to have this European countryside experience. We went to church services, and at the end this beautiful little blue-eyed Belgian girl next to me kissed me on both cheeks and then on the lips. It was just an innocent little baiser, but it felt like I7d stuck my fingers in a socket. I think she put a little something behind it.
ELLE: Like tongue?
BF: Don't get gross; we're in churuch here, I became completely bashful after that and couldn't look at her for the rest of the summer.
ELLE: If you could change something about yourself physically, what would it be?
BF: I'm too tall. I'm 6'3" and bump into stuff all the time. People with Napoleon complexes always want to bring big guys down. In school I was always getting beat up by some little runt.
ELLE: Have you ever met a man whose sexual magnetism just bowled you over?
BF: Clinton has a tractor beam. I hosted a Christmas carol program for the president just before everything had hit the fan. My wife, who was wearing a red dress and has certain endowments, was supposed to sit next to him, but when the lights came up I saw she'd been moved four rows behind him --- as if they didn't want a pretty blond in a red dress sitting next to the president. I introduced her in the receiving line and he said, "Hell-ooo, Afton." The Secret Service was prodding people to move along, but I saw Clinton make this hand gesture like, "Back off for a second, guys." Then he started asking her how she liked the program and questions about herself, and she's getting all flushed, turning red, while I'm just standing there. Suddenly I was like, I don't care if 38 guys are ready to kill me if I take one step toward this man --- I'm finished! So I pulled Afton along, saying, "Let's go get something to eat. Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs.Clinton."
ELLE: Would you describe your emotion as jealousy?
BF: No, blind rage.
ELLE: Did you give her a hard time?
BF: Of course, I was like, "So what's with your boyfriend?" Afton had never reacted that way to another man since I'd known her. Clinton is the man. And you know what? I'd do him.
ELLE: Have you learned anything about dealing with women that you will impart to your sons?
BF: Listen to women, because they fall in love not so much through their eyes but their ears; speech is important. If you make a mistake, cop to it quick. And please put a little pinhole in the condom, because we want to be grandparents sooner rather than later.