‘Makes No Sense’: ‘The Whale’ Director Responds To Critics Of Brendan Fraser Wearing A Fat Suit

Fraser and Aronofsky
Taylor Hill/WireImage via Getty Images

Film director Darren Aronofsky is defending his choice to cast actor Brendan Fraser to play an obese gay man in the Golden Globe-nominated drama, “The Whale.”

The movie tells the story of Charlie, a middle-aged man who gains weight following the death of his boyfriend and works on repairing the relationship with his estranged daughter. 

It received critical acclaim, but one common reaction in the Hollywood community was to question whether Fraser was the best choice for the role, given that he’s not actually gay or obese. Aronofsky said he was surprised by that reaction and still stands behind his decision.

“Actors have been using makeup since the beginning of acting — that’s one of their tools,” the film director told Yahoo Entertainment during a recent interview

“And the lengths we went to portray the realism of the make-up has never been done before. One of my first calls after casting Brendan was to my makeup artist, Adrien Morot. I asked him, ‘Can we do something that’s realistic?’ Because if it’s going to look like a joke, then we shouldn’t do it.”

Aronofsky went on to discuss how Fraser approached the character with compassion and went out of his way to create an insightful narrative about him. 

“People with obesity are generally written as bad guys or as punchlines,” the director explained. “We wanted to create a fully worked-out character who has bad parts about him and good parts about him; Charlie is very selfish, but he’s also full of love and is seeking forgiveness. So [the controversy] makes no sense to me. Brendan Fraser is the right actor to play this role, and the film is an exercise in empathy.”

Fraser also expressed his commitment to the role. 

“Charlie is not the person he presents,” Fraser says of his character. “He’s not the person who we so often dismiss. He’s a man who lives with obesity, but he’s also a father and he’s also a teacher. He’s someone who can bring out the best in others even when they can’t see that in themselves. Tragically, he can’t do that for himself.”

The “George of the Jungle” actor called Charlie a “well-rounded character” who he approached with “empathy.”

Fraser was just nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama despite saying he refuses to attend the ceremony on principle. The actor previously accused one of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s former presidents of sexual assault and claims he’d be a “hypocrite” if he attended.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Makes No Sense’: ‘The Whale’ Director Responds To Critics Of Brendan Fraser Wearing A Fat Suit