Darren Aronofsky Defends Casting Brendan Fraser in ‘The Whale’

Brendan Fraser
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Brendan FraserHe is already gaining Oscar buzz for the performance in The WhaleHowever, his casting as a gay man of 600 lbs has been met with some backlash.

The film’s director, Darren AronofskyIn a new interview with, he addressed the criticisms. VarietyPublished Wednesday, October 12. Claiming that he and producers tried at one point to find a larger actor for the role.

“There was a chapter in the making of this film where we tried to research actors with obesity,” the Black Swan filmmaker, 53, said. “Outside of not being able to find an actor who could pull off the emotions of the role, it just becomes a crazy chase. Like, if you can’t find a 600-pound actor, is a 300-pound actor or 400-pound actor enough?”

The Requiem for a Dream director added that he didn’t think an actor with obesity could handle the demands of a film production schedule. “From a health perspective, it’s prohibitive,” he told the outlet. “It’s an impossible role to fill with a real person dealing with those issues.”

'The Whale' Director Darren Aronofsky Defends Brendan Fraser Casting, Says Role Would Be 'Impossible' for Obese Actor

Brendan Fraser and Darren Aronofsky
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Fraser, 53, was wearing prosthetics that increased his weight by 50 to 300 pounds depending on the scene. The actress had earlier this year been named the George of the JungleStar said that he had worked with the Obesity Alliance Coalition to learn more about the condition.

“I learned quickly that it takes an incredibly strong person inside that body to be that person,” the Affair alum told Vanity FairAugust “That seemed fitting and poetic and practical to me, all at once.”

Despite the controversy surrounding The Whale, Fraser’s performance has already earned tons of acclaim. After the movie’s premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in September, the MummyStar was given a standing ovation for six minutes.

After a Tuesday, Oct. 11, screening, the audience at the BFI London Film Festival was similarly impressed. They gave the actor a five-minute standing ovation. During the applause, Inkheart’s star broke down in tears and bow to the audience.

After the incident, the Indiana native was famously exiled from the limelight. The MummyHis fans believe that he was an action star and that his fans believed him. The WhaleThis is the beginning of his comeback. The Screen Actors Guild Award winner is also set to appear in next year’s Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese‘s much-hyped adaptation of the nonfiction book of the same name.

The Scrubs alum told Variety that he’s happy to be in demand again, though he still worries his comeback may not last. “I was never that far away,” he explained. “You can’t get rid of me that easy. But I’m glad to have a job. I’m still expecting somebody to walk over to me, hand me a dish towel and say, ‘Fraser, get back in the kitchen.’”