Brendan Fraser Apologizes For Stunt That Halted San Francisco Bridge Traffic

There's a colossal difference between staging a stunt on location versus in a studio or backlot. Whether you're orchestrating a large explosion on a busy city street or dangling your actor off the side of an exceptionally tall building — it's important to be mindful of the public. There are plenty of anecdotes about people (unaware a movie is being filmed nearby) earning a frightful surprise when the stunt is finally executed. 

After all, a simulated explosion probably still sounds and feels like a real one to the neighbors. But it's not just blockbuster action movies that might have such a problem confusing or terrifying the public. Turns out that even off-kilter romantic comedies like "George of the Jungle" can stage the kind of stunts that trigger breaking news segments. And that's exactly what happened while filming in San Francisco on the famed Bay Bridge for one of the movie's more climactic scenes.

Is it a bird? A plane? A dummy parachuter?

There's a moment during "George of the Jungle" where George (Brendan Fraser) fearlessly climbs the towering structure of the Bay Bridge to rescue a trapped parachuter. But as reported by Entertainment Weekly, the actor revealed not everyone got the memo a movie stunt was being staged. When out of the loop bystanders looked up and saw what appeared to be a body dangling precariously above them — they were understandably distressed. "It brought traffic to a standstill on either side of the bridge," Fraser explained. He continued:

"There's this dummy parachutist hanging from it. I had the TV on, and Oprah got interrupted because there was a special news report with helicopters saying a parachute is dangling on the bridge. And I'm going — wait a minute, I'm looking at the helicopters and TV — somebody didn't pull a permit, somebody's going to get in trouble with the mayor's office. So I can only apologize for that."

Obviously, it wasn't like it was Fraser who dropped the ball. But at least he had the hindsight to look back on the incident and recognize the kind of turmoil it probably caused that day. If anything, the fact that it fooled so many people including news crews is a testament to the believability of both the stunt and mannequin. Clearly, no one was in any real danger and the whole thing was a misunderstanding. But it also underscores just how much productions in urban locales need to make sure they don't all their i's and cross all their t's when it comes to permits. Unfortunately, that wasn't the only blunder in retrospect that one of the lead actors in "George of the Jungle" had in regard to the film.

Stuck between a rock and a lion named Bongo

Apparently, Leslie Mann, who plays Ursula Stanhope, had her own epiphany about her time working on "George of the Jungle." While appearing on the YouTube series Hot Ones she was asked by Sean Evans if she had any "harrowing" experiences with the live animals on set. Boy, oh boy did she have a story to tell. "They put me in with, I don't know which one it was — Bongo or Caesar," Mann told him in between sips of milk. "So I was in a little tiny space, he's probably like where you are from me, and so I remember, I think about this a lot, you know, when you hear about animals attacking. I think — I don't know why he didn't attack me."

Evidently, the fact that the lion didn't attack her wasn't much of a comfort. Instead, all she remembers is thinking that whatever precautions they had in place felt deeply lacking. "And they didn't have anyone in-between us — just like a man, like where that sign is," she continued. "What's he going to be able to do?" Mann's experience speaks to the illusion of safety that's created on a movie set. After all, just like with Fraser's story about a forgotten permit — though the stakes are obviously infinitely higher — everything can fall apart in a moment of human error.

Looking back, Mann realizes her decision to just go along to get along put her in unnecessary danger and she regrets not having the wherewithal to voice her legitimate safety concerns. It's a lesson she's imparted to both her daughters: Maude and Iris Apatow. "Don't just go along with it because you don't want to cause a problem — like I shouldn't have done that," she admitted.