Brendan Fraser says comeback role left him feeling ‘a little changed’ and how the character impacted his relationship with his body

Brendan Fraser‘s starring turn in drama The Whale is already generating Oscar buzz for The Mummy actor.

After a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival last month left him visibly moved, Fraser followed it with a standing ovation at the movie’s London Film Festival on Tuesday night (Wednesday AEDT).

Having somewhat stepped back from Hollywood for a number of years, the role marks Fraser’s big comeback and the 53-year-old tells 9Honey Celebrity playing 270-kilogram English teacher Charlie left him feeling “a little changed”.

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Brendan Fraser at the screening of The Whale at London Film Festival in London, England on 11th October 2022

“To play the part, it meant wearing a great deal of prosthetic makeup and wardrobe,” he told 9Honey Celebrity on the London Film Festival red carpet.

“And the design of his character is all in interest of the authenticity of physics and gravity. So, it was encumbering, appropriately, to be Charlie.

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“At the end of the day, when all the apparatus came off, I felt a little changed somehow too, almost… like a vertigo. If you were to step from a boat onto a dock, you know, you’re still moving. Playing Charlie moved me.”

The movie, based on a play of the same name, tells the tale of a dying obese man who tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter (played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink) in the week he has left.

Fraser’s physical transformation for the role – including gaining weight, prosthetics and some CGI – has been much talked about, with the George of the Jungle star almost unrecognisable on-screen.

However, the actor tells 9Honey playing the “unhealthy” role of a man “harming himself by overeating” hasn’t changed his own relationship with his body.

“I feel at home and comfortable with my body no matter what shape and size it is,” he says.

Despite Fraser having moved away from big screen roles in Hollywood, director Darren Aronofsky tells 9Honey Celebrity he had an instinct Fraser was the right person for the role – a “gamble” he says that’s paid off on-screen.

Director Darren Aronofsky attends "The Whale" UK Premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 11, 2022 in London, England

“You know, it was really a gut feeling,” Aronofsky tells 9Honey Celebrity on the red carpet.

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“It wasn’t so much of an intellectual decision. I had been looking for many years to find someone that could play it and that was sort of a leap of faith.

“I saw it and just kind of felt it and I decided to just go with it, so it was a bit of a gamble but every day he impressed me.”

While fans have been falling over themselves at Fraser’s reemergence on the scene, Aronofsky tells 9Honey Celebrity there was never any sense of that during filming.

(L-R) Samuel D. Hunter, Sadie Sink, director Darren Aronofsky, Hong Chau, Brendan Fraser attend "The Whale" red carpet at the 79th Venice Film Festival, 2022.

“We weren’t aware that there was any kind of fan base like there is, like we’ve witnessed. I didn’t know that was happening,” he says.

“It was really the right person for the right job at the right time.”

Fraser tells 9Honey he didn’t feel the pressure of the big comeback during filming.

Brendan Fraser attends "The Whale" UK Premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 11, 2022 in London, England

“No, not while working,” he says.

“We were too busy shooting the movie under COVID restrictions and, interestingly, how it worked out [is] we wound up, for all the precaution that was necessary, we took care of one another even more carefully somehow.

“And I think that translates to the performances you see on the screen.”

The Whale is yet to announce a release date for Australia.