Brendan Fraser Is Up For Another Major Transformation
Brendan Fraser has shared during an interview with People that he is absolutely willing to transform his body for another role, whether it be through prosthetics or other means. The famed star of Darren Aronofsky’s latest arthouse A24 film The Whale spoke on what it means to embody a role that displays different physical dimensions than one’s own physique using a fat suit. He said, “We felt an obligation to ensure that it was cumbersome. It was accurate, that was what we strived for.”
Some critics took to the internet to criticize the film, which received outstanding praise at film festivals across Europe. It culminated in dozens of minutes of standing ovations from the audience as well as a litany of wins for the film’s moving performances. The Whale follows Brendan Fraser’s Charlie, an obese homosexual English teacher, as he struggles to reconnect with his estranged daughter. The critiques of the film mostly focused on Fraser’s portrayal of a 600-pound man using prosthetics, rather than casting an actual 600-pound man in the role.
Brendan Fraser, who was once a leading man in films such as George of the Jungle and Monkeybone, has spent several years out of the Hollywood limelight, not taking a lead role in a film since 2013’s Breakout nearly 10 years ago. The Mummy actor has heard the critiques of the new film and has no regrets about his portrayal. He explained to People the experience left him with nothing but the utmost respect and reverence for people struggling with obesity.
Fraser had to lift and carry prosthetics between 50 and 300 pounds on the set of The Whale in order to portray the character of Charlie in as earnest a way as possible. Furthermore, director Darren Aronofsky, perhaps best known for his work directing other harrowing dramas such as Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, stated that finding an actor already struggling with the afflictions of this character would prove to be too difficult and potentially triggering for the actor themselves.
Regardless of what critics are saying, the film, which opens to general theaters on Dec. 9th, is set to make Oscar lists from here to Wales, and catapult Brendan Fraser back into the pop culture zeitgeist. With Fraser’s confirmation that he’s willing to transform himself once again for future roles a la Christian Bale, there seem to be endless possibilities for his next move. This is particularly exciting as modern prosthetics and digital artistry allow for actors to safely embody these changes in shape and size without damaging their health in the long term.
The Whale is set to be an incredibly moving film both for its intense subject matter as well as its powerful performances. And the film is on track to make Brendan Fraser a household name for a whole new generation.
Critics who praise and degrade the film alike are in agreement that the movie, which centers around a host of sensitive subjects, requires a number of trigger warnings in advance to prevent moviegoers from being too emotionally devastated. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what the Encino Man has in store for us.