Brendan Fraser details the struggles he faced with the immense body prosthetics he had to wear for The Whale, revealing that they gave him vertigo. While Fraser has appeared in a number of successful films over the course of his career, the actor remains best known for his role in 1999’s The Mummy, a thrilling action-adventure film in the vein of Indiana Jones. After mostly appearing in smaller parts for a number of years, the beloved actor has been returning to the spotlight recently, with roles in projects like No Sudden Move, Doom Patrol, and the now-canceled Batgirl movie.
Fraser’s next project sees the star team up with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky for The Whale. The film tells the story of Charlie (Fraser), a severely obese and reclusive teacher who attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter for a final chance at redemption. The film sees Stranger Things star Sadie Sink playing Ellie, Charlie’s daughter, with Hong Chao, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton, Huck Milner, Sathya Sridharan, and Ryan Heinke rounding out the rest of the cast. A first-look image from The Whale previously teased Fraser’s massive transformation, which has been achieved primarily using prosthetics and practical effects.
Fraser spoke with Variety ahead of the film’s premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and detailed some of the struggles that came with the immense body prosthetics he wore for the film. The actor explains that the prosthetics worked out “muscles he didn’t even know he had,” before revealing that taking the kit off after filming caused its own problems, with his sudden changes in mass actually giving him vertigo. Check out Fraser’s full comment below:
“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; it was like stepping off the dock onto a boat in Venice. That [sense of] undulating. It gave me appreciation for those whose bodies are similar. You need to be an incredibly strong person, mentally and physically, to inhabit that physical being.”
While audiences have yet to even see a trailer for the new Aronofsky film, Fraser previously outlined what his extensive prosthetics for The Whale entailed, revealing that, in all, the pieces weighed close to 300 pounds. The actor spent upwards of five hours every day being fitted with the appliances, but his most recent comment suggests that the struggles extended beyond the actual shoot itself, with negative effects persisting even after the prosthetics were removed. Although the experience doesn’t sound entirely pleasant, Fraser makes clear that it ultimately helped him to better understand the people who do have bodies like that, which is sure to have aided his performance.
Initial murmurings about The Whale from the Venice International Film Festival have been positive, with many praising Fraser’s performance. While official reviews for the movie are still under embargo, a positive reception to The Whale would cement the film as another major step for Fraser’s comeback story, with The Mummy star receiving an outpouring of love in recent years from fans who are happy to see him back in the spotlight. Unfortunately, general audiences still have a little while to wait before they can see Fraser in The Whale, with the film not expected to release until December.