08/22/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT
Following in the recent footsteps of Kevin Spacey, Darryl Hannah and Jessica Lange, the latest Hollywood star to take the stage in London's West End will be "Mummy" star Brendan Fraser. On Sept. Sept. 18, he will open in the role as Brick, the latent homosexual former football hero, in the Tennessee Williams classic "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Ned Beatty will costar as his father, arrogant Southern plantation owner Big Daddy, and Australian actress Frances O'Connor will play the sexually frustrated wife of Brick, Maggie the Cat. (In the sanitized 1958 movie version, Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor were Brick and Maggie, and Burl Ives played Big Daddy.) "This is the fulfillment of an aspiration for me," the Canadian-born actor, 32, who hit the big time with 1997's "George of the Jungle," told reporters at a London press conference. "It is a different muscle, learning to condition and flex. Bicycle riding metaphors aside, I think it is part of a discovery process."