The Whale Writer Responds To Brendan Fraser Casting Controversy – Trending News

The Whale Writer Responds To Brendan Fraser Casting Controversy

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The Whale writer Samuel D. Hunter responds to the Brendan Fraser casting controversy regarding the actor using prosthetics to play a 600-pound man.


Though the actor is getting plenty of acclaim for his performance, The Whale writer Samuel D. Hunter has some candid thoughts on Brendan Fraser’s casting controversy. Based on Hunter’s play of the same name, Darren Aronofsky’s psychological drama revolves around Charlie, a 600-pound reclusive English professor who attempts to reconnect with his teenage daughter after leaving her and her mom for his gay lover, whose death led to his dangerous weight gain. Fraser has garnered widespread acclaim for his performance as Charlie in The Whale, though one aspect has been met with some division from critics and audiences.

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In a recent interview with People to discuss the wide release of the film, The Whale‘s Samuel D. Hunter responded to the Brendan Fraser casting controversy. The playwright and movie co-writer did acknowledge the “pretty terrible” depiction of obesity in other forms of cinema, but defended the use of prosthetics in the film for the intention of the story. See what Hunter explained below:

One, I think the history of obesity, in regard to cinema, is pretty terrible. These kinds of prosthetics have been used very inaccurately and to deride people or make fun of them. Whereas what we’re doing is just trying to delve into the deep complex humanity of this very beautiful and complicated human being. And I also just think that with this kind of stuff… With plays, people don’t usually read a one sentence synopsis and then judge it based off of that. But I think that people just do that more often with film. So yeah, I mean, I understand that people will have whatever reaction they’re going to have, but I just have to have faith in the story that I’m telling, which I think is grounded in empathy and love.

Related: The Whale Confirms Sadie Sink Is Stranger Things’ True Breakout Star


Brendan Fraser’s Whale Casting Controversy Explained

Brendan Fraser in The Whale-2

The majority of Fraser’s casting controversy in The Whale stems from his use of prosthetics and a fat suit to depict the actor as a 600-pound obese man. Many have argued that the use of such effects is a step back in the progress much cinema has made in better portraying plus-sized people, with many also agreeing that it would have been better for Aronofsky to have cast an actual obese person in the role. On the flip side, there have been some who have defended Fraser’s casting in The Whale, taking a similar approach in their defense to Hunter in acknowledging the intention of the story and its use of prosthetics, which takes a more empathetic approach to such a character, rather than continuing the trend of negatively stigmatizing said characters.

Will The Whale’s Controversy Affects Its Oscars Chances?

Brendan_Fraser_crying_in_The_Whale

The big question on many audiences’ minds right now is whether The Whale‘s casting controversy will affect the film’s Oscars chances heading into the new year. Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hunter’s play wouldn’t be the first film to head into the iconic awards show with some controversy surrounding it, with 2019’s Green Book being widely criticized for its white savior narrative in telling the story of jazz pianist Don Shirley, though it would shock everyone by bringing home the statue for Best Picture. The year prior saw some division over Bohemian Rhapsody‘s multiple Oscar nods, with many criticizing the film’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality actually demonizing the LGBTQ+ community, while also noting the various historical inaccuracies made it a lackluster take on Queen’s story.

This year memorably saw Will Smith come under fire for his attack on Chris Rock on the stage of the Oscars following a joke made at his wife’s expense, though despite resigning from the Academy and being banned from attending the ceremony for 10 years, his performance in the slave drama Emancipation is garnering plenty of Oscars buzz. Considering the awards show is never without some controversy every year, it seems hard to believe that the division over Fraser’s casting in The Whale will hurt his, or the film’s, Oscars chances. Those eager to see what is being hailed as Fraser’s comeback role can catch The Whale now in wide release in theaters.

Next: Yes, Brendan Fraser’s The Whale Performance Really Is That GoodSource: People

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