Brendan Fraser didn’t want to “defame” obesity with The Whale fat suit

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Brendan Fraser has opened up about his experience wearing prosthetics for new film The whale.

The actor recently received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Charlie, a withdrawn, obese English teacher trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.

Despite speculation that the film is based on a true story, it is almost entirely fiction, although writer Samuel D Hunter has said certain aspects of the plot are semi-autobiographical.

While shooting The Mummy star Brendan, 54, wore a 330-pound thick suit and has explained that he wanted the costume to look as realistic as possible.

Speaking in Lorraine on Friday about how “physically demanding” the job was, he said: “It was a rule that this make-up and costume would obey the laws of physics and gravity, would be appropriately cumbersome so that there would be less could be influenced in the performance.

“So many times we’ve seen weight gain costumes that are really just a silhouette or a Halloween costume, with a fit actor in something that’s cotton, and it’s in the service of a one-note joke or to make a character slander in a way that is unfair.’

Brendan Fraser portrays Charlie in the film, which has received mixed reviews (Picture: AP)
He wore a thick 300 Ib suit for the role (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

He continued: “But obviously this isn’t that, and the process itself of creating this in itself was interesting because this was made during the time of Covid and, Adrien Morot, our makeup artist, we didn’t have access to any other so I I was digitally scanned with an iPad and it was sent to him.’

Brendan explained that Adrian “virtually created Charlie’s body,” then “printed devices from which to make a mold,” skipping the process of “putting together a sculpt.”

“So he had absolute control over the size of your pores, the anomalies in the skin, the texture of eye wrinkles, everything,” the star said.

The actor explained the importance of making the costume realistic (Picture: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association)

“It worked for that, because if you saw any of the scenes with the dotted lines, you’d be taken out of the story.

And after five minutes of spending time with this man [Charlie]either you think, I want to be his friend, or I know him, or I want to know him, that’s how I felt, and it doesn’t distract you from going on his emotional journey with him.”

Brendan also said he wanted the film to change conversations about “weight bias” and encourage people to be more compassionate towards each other.

The Whale has received criticism for both its plot and its use of a “fat suit,” which director Darren Aronofsky himself has defended.

“Actors have been using makeup since the beginning of acting – it’s one of their tools. And the effort we’ve taken to represent the realism of the makeup has never been done before,” he recently explained.

He added that his first instruction was to make the costume “realistic,” telling the team, “If it looks like a joke, we shouldn’t do it.”

The director added that obese characters are typically not well written in films as they like to portray a “fully fleshed out character” rather than a negative stereotype.

Watch The Whale in cinemas on February 3.

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9pm on ITV.

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