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Brendan Fraser Suggests He Didn't Do George of the Jungle 2 Because 'Studio Was Too Cheap to Hire Me'

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Brendan Fraser attends "The Whale" New York Screening at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Brendan Fraser attends "The Whale" New York Screening at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser is opening up about why he wasn't part of the sequel to the 1997 movie George of the Jungle.

"I think George got a remake, and they built a joke into it that the studio was too cheap to hire me, which wasn't inaccurate," The Whale actor told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Wednesday when asked about sequels for his past projects.

In 2003's George of the Jungle 2, the titular role is played by Christopher Showerman, with references to Fraser's absence made in the film.

"I was approached," he explained. "I can't remember what I was doing at the time, but I felt like I wanted to go do The Quiet American instead with Michael Caine, and shoot the first Western film in Vietnam ever, directed by Phillip Noyce, to tell an infinitely American story."

RELATED: Brendan Fraser Says He Was 'Starved of Carbohydrates' for 'George of the Jungle' : 'My Brain Was Misfiring'

The 54-year-old actor continued: "I'm always making diverse choices, and, hopefully, that keeps me and an audience interested. With a bit of distance, I think they've all cumulatively led up to the place I'm in now."

Representatives for Disney did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

Fraser went to great lengths to play the titular role in George of the Jungle.

1997 Brendan Fraser stars in the new movie "George of the Jungle".
1997 Brendan Fraser stars in the new movie "George of the Jungle".

Hulton Archive/Getty Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle

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He talked about his experience getting ripped for the comedy film during Variety's Actors on Actors series. On it, he reunited with Adam Sandler, his costar in Airheads, a 1994 film about a rock band who holds a radio station hostage while they're seeking their big break.

"I was waxed. Starved of carbohydrates," Fraser said of doing George of the Jungle. "I would drive home after work and stop to get something to eat. I needed some cash one day, and I went to the ATM, and I couldn't remember my PIN number because my brain was misfiring. Banging on the thing. I didn't eat that night."

RELATED VIDEO: Brendan Fraser's Amazing Career and Inspiring Comeback: Thank You for "Keeping Me in the Job That I Love"

Sandler joked that he was disappointed by Fraser's good looks in the movie.

"You made us feel bad about ourselves," Sandler quipped. "Were you oiled up at all during George?"

In the film, Fraser plays George, a Tarzan-like comedic character taken from his jungle home and introduced to modern society. For much of the movie, Fraser wears nothing but a small loin cloth.

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"The wardrobe was there was no wardrobe," Fraser told Sandler.

The movie follows Fraser's character as he meets the new world and finds himself falling in love with Leslie Mann's character Ursula, eventually choosing his jungle home over San Francisco.