How Did Brendan Fraser Transform For The Whale Movie?

The first look at Darren Aronofsky's The Whale shows an almost unrecognizable Brendan Fraser, with the actor undergoing a significant transformation for the role. Brendan Fraser's roles in many of the most successful movies of the 1990s cemented him as one of the decade's biggest global megastars. After a time out of the spotlight, Fraser's career is once again looking overwhelmingly positive, with his role in the Darren Aronofsky drama just one of many exciting upcoming projects for the beloved actor - including portraying a villain in the DCEU's Batgirl.

Based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale follows Charlie, a middle-aged man who becomes a 600-pound recluse after binge-eating to deal with the guilt of leaving his family for his gay lover. As well as Brendan Fraser, The Whale is set to star Sadie Sink as Ellie, Charlie's daughter with whom he seeks to reconnect. Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, and Ty Simpkins are also set to appear in the Aronofsky drama.


Related: The Mummy Franchise Needs Brendan Fraser (Not Another Reboot)

What We Know About Brendan Fraser's Whale Movie Transformation

Brendon Fraser as Charlie in The Whale movie sitting in a kitchen looking pensive

Though not many details about the making of The Whale are currently known, Fraser's transformation is the result of a mixture of make-up and prosthetics. Speaking with Newsweek, Fraser described "the wardrobe and costume [as] extensive, seamless, cumbersome," hinting at the difficulty involved with the physical portrayal of Charlie. Fraser also added that The Whale is "certainly far removed from anything [he's] ever done."

Why Brendan Fraser's Whale Movie Transformation Is Divisive

Brendan Fraser in The Whale and The Mummy

It's no secret that Hollywood failed Brendan Fraser - with the actor's career taking a major hit after he made allegations of sexual assault against one-time HFPA president Phillip Berk. The Whale marks just one of the many roles of Fraser's anticipated comeback, but the role of Charlie is a divisive one. Due to Fraser wearing prosthetics in order to portray the 600-pound Charlie, The Whale is being accused of fatphobia.

Of course, such a claim is hard to back up before the movie is released, but the potential for The Whale to offend is certainly high. The Whale's subject matter is a particularly sensitive subject for many, and therefore, its approach will need to be carefully measured in order to dispel the justified concerns being voiced about the film. However, Fraser's own journey should help ease concerns about the sensitivity of The Whale - after fighting monsters in The Mummy movies, Brendan Fraser's career lull led to weight gain, and the actor was himself subjected to body shaming. As a result, the actor's personal journey may help lend a more sympathetic tone to The Whale's story.

Though The Whale is already a divisive movie, it's also a promising one. With the Oscar-nominated Darren Aronofsky directing and two huge stars in Brendan Fraser and Sadie Sink leading the cast, it has all the makings of a powerful drama. Exactly how sensitively The Whale will handle Brendan Fraser's body transformation remains to be seen, but the actor himself is excited for the movie's release, which is an encouraging sign.