Brendan Fraser has discussed his “scary” experience filming a nude scene with Matt Damon in School Ties.
The actor, who recently received an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Whale, discussed his breakout role in the 1992 drama film on The Howard Stern Show.
In a certain scene from the film, Dillon (played by Damon) reveals Fraser’s character David is Jewish to the rest of the football team, leading them to fight in the showers.
Asked if they were fully nude during the scene, Fraser said: “Absolutely. It was scary, it’s scary to do that. And when you’re an actor and you’re starting off, you’re ambitious and game for pretty much anything. They say jump, you say how high?”
He added: “But at the same time I appreciated that this isn’t really for wow or a scintillating factor of going, ‘Hey, look at that. Naked people.’ The point of it was that when Damon’s character says what he says about David, he just reveals who he is.
“His anti-Semitism and his prejudice is stripped down naked and it’s ugly. And the door is locked and they fight over it like shaved apes that need to be pulled apart because they’ve run out of things to say to one another, and it just turns into an ugly knuckle-dusting fit. That’s the point of the scene, really.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Fraser recalled his screen test for the role alongside Damon.
“I just remember thinking, ‘He’s already got the job, and this is my shot here. OK, don’t mess this up, bring things down a size,” he said. “I was used to being on stage at that point in my life and playing to the back row, and I knew that I needed to match pitch with Matt, so I felt like I was his wingman or something, and I think that’s why I got hired.”
School Ties, directed by Robert Mandel, also starred Chris O’Donnell, Randall Batinkoff, Cole Hauser, Ben Affleck and Anthony Rapp.
In a three-star review of The Whale, NME wrote: “Even these strong performances can’t quite focus The Whale – a story which purports to grapple with existential themes, but never really makes sense of anything.”