Brendan Fraser Had To Re-Learn To Use His Body For A Role

Brendan Fraser is starring in one of his most acclaimed, intense roles ever, which apparently made him view bodies in a whole new way.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

brendan fraser

The career revival of Brendan Fraser in recent years has been a delightful, unexpected development. After rising to leading man status through the 1990s and peaking with the blockbuster Mummy franchise, his career stalled out in the 2000s. Brendan Fraser has since discussed the traumatic events and subsequent depression that affected him, and in the last few years has been enjoying critical acclaim for performances in Titans and Doom Patrol. Brendan Fraser is currently receiving some of the best reviews of his entire career for his new film The Whale, in which he portrays a severely obese man attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter. According to Deadline, the effort of playing the physicality of the character was so great that he had to essentially learn how to use his body in a different way. 

The Whale stars Brendan Fraser as Charlie, a middle-aged man who has become a recluse after the death of his lover (who he had previously left his wife and daughter to be in a relationship with). In the aftermath, he began compulsively eating and now weighs 600 pounds, being confined to his home out of depression and shame; according to Brendan Fraser, part of the character of Charlie is that his trauma has manifested physically as the weight his body carries. In order to portray that, Brendan Fraser wore a prosthetic suit that he said caused him to develop muscles he was not aware of and that he had to learn to use his body in new ways. He also said that he experienced vertigo from the removal of the prosthetics and that he found he had an entirely new perception of bodies from it. 

Brendan Fraser’s new film has been rapturously received at the Venice Film Festival, where it received a six-minute standing ovation with the star present. He is already receiving Oscar buzz for the film. If he is nominated for an Academy Award, it will be an entirely new stage in his career, which has often been dominated by action movies and comedic roles. The Whale was directed by the critically acclaimed and frequently controversial filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, based on a play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter. It also stars Stranger Things breakout star Sadie Sink as Brendan Fraser’s daughter and Samantha Morton as his ex-wife. 

Brendan Fraser was set to star as the DC Comics villain Firefly in the HBO Max film Batgirl, until its recent abrupt cancelation. It would have been one of his highest-profile roles in some years, but ironically, its cancelation transformed Batgirl from a relatively minor DCEU release to a symbol of the wild changes caused by the formation of Warner Bros. Discovery and its new CEO David Zaslav. It is entirely possible that we will never get to see Brendan Fraser as an arson-themed DC villain, but hopefully someday Batgirl will be released in some fashion. Until then, we get to see him in what promises to be one of his most intense roles yet.