AceShowbiz - Brendan Fraser admires severely obese people for being "incredibly strong physically and mentally" after he played an overweight character in "The Whale". In the film, the actor, 53, takes on the role of a reclusive English teacher Charlie, who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter while he battles his obesity.
"It gave me an appreciation for those whose bodies are similar. I learned that you need to be an incredibly strong person, physically, mentally, to inhabit that being," he said at a press conference as reported by The Guardian after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Suday (04.09.22).
"Charlie's physical mobility is limited to his home space, which is his couch. His story is told behind closed doors. He's a light in a dark space. I think it's poetic that the trauma he carries is manifest in the physical weight of his body."
"I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way. I developed muscles I did not know I had. I even felt a sense of vertigo at the end of the day when all the appliances were removed, as you'd feel stepping off a boat on to the dock here in Venice."
The film, directed by "Requiem for a Dream" filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, is said to already be generating an Oscars buzz. It marks Brendan's first lead role in a movie since his straight-to-DVD 2013 thriller "Breakout", with reports it prompted an eight-minute standing ovation at its premiere when the actor's name appeared in the credits.
Brendan's character weighs around 600 pounds in the movie, and the actor had to wear a huge fat suit and prosthetics for the part.
The actor, who shares three sons with his actress wife of 23 years Afton Smith, 54, told Vanity Fair about taking the part as he liked a challenge, "If there's no risk, then why bother? I want to learn from the people I'm working with at this point in my career."
"I've had such variety, a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I'm keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I'm contributing to the craft, and I'm learning from it. This is a prime opportunity. I wanted to disappear into it. My hope was that I would become unrecognisable."