Brendan Fraser says severely obese people are 'incredibly strong'

Brendan Fraser says severely obese people are ‘incredibly strong’ both ‘physically and mentally’ after playing overweight man in The Whale

  • Brendan Fraser says playing the role of a severely obese man has taught him that people who are similarly overweight are ‘incredibly’ strong mentally and physically 
  • The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Sunday and has already generated Oscar buzz, with Brendan saying the role was a learning curve for him as he came to understand people’s trauma can manifest in their bodies
  • The star’s character weighs around 600 pounds in Darren Aronofsky’s new movie and he had to wear a cumbersome costume to transform into the character 

Brendan Fraser says playing the role of a severely obese man has taught him that people who are similarly overweight are ‘incredibly’ strong mentally and physically.

The actor, 53, stars as Charlie in film The Whale which tells the story of a reclusive English teacher battling severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.

The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Sunday and has already generated Oscar buzz, with Brendan saying the role was a learning curve for him as he came to understand people’s trauma can manifest in their bodies as it affects their eating habits.

Eye-opening: Brendan Fraser says playing the role of a severely obese man has taught him that people who are similarly overweight are ‘incredibly’ strong mentally and physically

According to The Guardian, he said at a press conference: ‘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.

‘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.’  

Well-received: The Whale is a psychological drama which saw Brendan undergo a physical transformation, as well as wear prosthetics to play a man ‘living with obesity’ (still from the  film)

The star’s character weighs around 600 pounds in Darren Aronofsky’s new movie and he had to wear a cumbersome costume to transform into the character with Brendan admitting he struggled with the suit onset and felt very strange when he took it off at the end of the day.  

The actor previously spoke to Vanity Fair about why he took on the role, insisting he wanted a fresh challenge.

Brendan said: ‘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. 

Dapper: Brendan Fraser looked delighted on Sunday as he attended the photocall for his new film The Whale at Venice Film Festival

‘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.’

Brendan looked dapper in a grey and white pinstripe jacket and matching trousers as he attended the photocall for his new film The Whale at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday.

Reaction: The applause was sparked when Brendan’s name came up on the credits, reports The Independent

He added a pale blue shirt underneath, a brown belt and a pair of shiny cream shoes.

Brendan beamed as he posed with his fellow cast members, Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink, Hong Chau and director Darren Aronofsky.

The cast’s appearance comes after the film reportedly received an eight minute standing ovation at its first screening – with the applause sparked when Brendan’s name came up on the credits, reports The Independent.

It marks Brendan’s first lead role in a movie since straight-to-DVD thriller Breakout in 2013, leading many fans to believe this is his comeback. 

Cast: He beamed as he posed with his fellow cast members, Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink, Hong Chau and director Darren Aronofsky

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