Brendan Fraser on co-starring with Bugs Bunny
Being a live-action star in an animated world was no Merrie Melodie.
Any actor will tell you that a scene can only be as good as your scene partner. The best-written material in the world will fall flat if it's not delivered well. That's why it's so important that anybody sharing the screen has chemistry together.
So what's it like co-starring with someone as famous as Bugs Bunny?
Most of us might never have the pleasure, but luckily, Brendan Fraser was able to tell us what it's like. After starring in hits like Monkeybone and George of the Jungle, Fraser was entrusted with the task of starring in a brand new Bugs Bunny movie. Specifically, Fraser was the male lead in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, directed by Joe Dante of Gremlins fame.
"What you hope for is just to interact with [Bugs] in a way that appears as if it is seamless. That's the biggest challenge," he said.
The obstacle Fraser faced, of course, was the fact that his co-star wasn't physically on set. Given that Bugs Bunny and all his friends are animated and fictional, Fraser had to react to thin air. Then, later on, in the post-production process, animators would go in and animate the characters into the space to appear as though they were interacting with Brendan Fraser. As if acting wasn't a difficult enough task, Fraser and his co-stars were acting with characters they wouldn't even see until the movie premiered.
Fortunately for Fraser, when the movie was made in 2003, animation technology had advanced to a point where acting with a digitally rendered character wasn't as hard as it had once been.
When he was rehearsing for 1997's George of the Jungle, six years earlier, the process was more labor-intensive and expensive. He recalled the difficulties of a scene in which he had to act towards a space where the crew would later insert a digital elephant.
"I raised my hand above its eyeline or something, and these guys had a conniption fit because it would cost another $85,000 if I raise my arm just a little bit."
There you have it folks.
Bugs Bunny: Easier to work with than a digital elephant.