While there are all kinds of rumors flying around about Brendan Fraser being cast in Showtime’s, The Affair, the truth is the character he plays, prison guard, John Gunther is a break out role; and it confirms that he is a versatile and skillful actor. Gunther, as he’s known on the show, is nothing like the iconic heroes that Fraser has always portrayed. He is a creepy, unlikeable bully.
The low, guttural, uneducated sounding voice that Fraser uses for the character is disturbing, and an unexpected departure from the lilting charm and deliberate humor of characters like George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right.
Fraser may be uncomfortable playing such a monster, but it’s actually refreshing to see him take on such a despicable character. This is not a low point in his career. This is Brendan Fraser maturing as an actor. He has played those loveable goofballs so well for so long.
However, by the interview that he did on AOL, it would seem that he’s having trouble adjusting to the changes in his life and in the entertainment world. While pain and adversity in any form can be debilitating, it’s actually a chance for growth. Fraser should embrace the journey he is on, as it has made him a better actor. Whether he’s heartbroken over his divorce or because he’s not the blockbuster sensation he once was, he should remember that making good art isn’t primarily about being the leading man. And, it doesn’t always have to be on the big screen.
Show business and technology are evolving. If Fraser doesn’t progress with it, he will get left behind. Lots of film stars are now appearing in series on cable channels. Anthony Hopkins is on Westworld (HBO), and Luke Wilson in Roadies (Showtime), and Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are in an upcoming miniseries called Big Little Lies (HBO).
As for playing John Gunther, some of the best actors have performed in supporting roles, and it has eventually led them to the top. If Fraser plays his cards right, and chooses future parts wisely, his appearance on The Affair could be his road back to a more fulfilling career.