Brendan Fraser may be known for his leading roles in The Mummy and George of the Jungle, but he is now earning some Oscar chatter for his new film The Whale where he plays a 600-pound gay man who has entered a severe bought of depression following the death of his partner.The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, debuted at the Venice Film Festival.
It’s adapted from a play by Samuel D. Hunter.Audiences reportedly gave the film a six-minute standing ovation, according to CNN.A video posted by Variety's co-editor in chief Ramin Setoodeh showed Fraser's emotional response to the film's reception.
Both the film and the play focus on Charlie, a kind man who has isolated himself after his partner’s death and is eating constantly to deal with the sadness.
As he knows his continuous eating is leading to severe health problems, Charlie tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter (played by Sadie Sink of Stranger Things).Fraser, 53, spoke to reporters ahead of the premier, discussing the intense makeup and prosthetics used to play protagonist Charlie and the emotional and physical the role had on him."By far and away I think Charlie is the most heroic man I have ever played because his superpower is to see the good in others and bring that out," said Fraser, Reuters reports.Related: Straight Actors Who Nabbed Oscar Noms for LGBTQ+ RolesThe prosthetics needed to play Charlie meant that Fraser was sometimes wearing up to 300 extra pounds.“I needed to learn to move in a new way,” Fraser told reporters. “I developed muscles that I did not know that I had.