in , ,

Brendan Fraser’s Transformation is Turning Heads

Back in the late 90s into the early 2000s, actor Brendan Fraser was on top of the world, thanks to his role as Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy of films. Those films banked a combined total of more than one and a quarter billion dollars globally at the box office. Before that, Fraser had appeared in comedy films such as 1992s Encino Man, 1994s Airheads, 1997s George of the Jungle, and 2000s Bedazzled.

He’s also appeared in leading roles in quite a few fantasy movies like 2008s Journey to the Center of the Earth and 2008s Inkheart. As a dramatic actor, Fraser has appeared in films like 1998s Gods and Monster, 2002s The Quiet American, and 2004s Crash.

Following a string of box office successes around the turn of the new millennium, the actor fell out of the spotlight amid various personal struggles, including multiple surgeries and the death of his dearly beloved mother, Carol.

Recently, however, Fraser has been making a comeback. TikTok has even coined a new term, Brenaissance, to describe his newfound second wind in Hollywood.

In 2021, Fraser appeared in the neo-noir film No Sudden Move, and since 2019 he’s starred in the DC Universe HBO Max series Doom Patrol. Fraser’s most recent appearance, however, in Darren Aronofsky’s 2022 psychological drama film The Whale has been making quite a splash both with critics and Fraser’s fans.

Join Facts Verse as we explore how Brendan Fraser’s jaw-dropping transformation is turning heads.

Suffer For Celluloid

For Fraser, one of the biggest appeals of portraying the character Charlie in Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, The Whale, was becoming utterly unrecognizable on-screen. And really, if you haven’t at least seen the film’s trailer yet, you really should check it out after watching this video, because the transformation that Fraser made when taking on the role of that character is an absolute marvel to behold.

The Bedazzled star has received early Oscar buzz for his stellar performance as a 600 lb English teacher who is desperately trying to reconnect with his daughter Ellie, played by the lovely Sadie Sink, years after leaving her and her mother for his male lover.

In addition to being tapped for a Best Actor nomination, the film received an epic 6-minute standing ovation when it was screened at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. Following that outpouring of audience appreciation, Fraser took the stage with tears streaming down his face.

In the movie, Charle becomes morbidly obese after turning to binge eating as a means of coping with the grief he experienced following the death of his partner. Realizing that he may be nearing the end of his life, Charlie tries to find some kind of way of making amends with his estranged daughter.

To step into character, Fraser had to wear a custom prosthetic body suit that required him to haul around an additional 50 to 300 extra pounds while on set. Fraser told Variety that at times lugging around all of that extra weight became so cumbersome that he required the help of stagehands to move around in between takes.

Fraser went on to reveal to Variety some of the reasons why he decided to take the part and how it presented a number of obstacles and unexpected challenges.

Fraser told the outlet that at this point in his acting career, after experiencing more than his fair share of highs and lows, he just wanted to feel like he was contributing to the acting craft while learning from it.

“If there’s no risk, then why bother?” Fraser stated to the outlet. He went on to say that he felt like appearing in The Whale was a ‘prime opportunity’  for him to ‘disappear’ into his role. He further stated that it was his goal to become unrecognizable in the role of Charlie so that he could know just what he was capable of.

Addressing the issues that went along with donning that massive body suit, Fraser explained that whenever he had to wear it that it felt almost like he was in a straight jacket. Fraser reportedly experienced vertigo every time the suit was removed. It also made him realize that it takes an incredibly strong person to live inside of a real-world body like that. This point is especially eye-opening seeing as how many people erroneously believe that overweight people are inherently weak or lazy.

The George of the Jungle star claimed that he wasn’t sure when he’d have another opportunity to play a character like Charlie again, so when he signed on for the role, he vowed to give it his all. When you take a look at the critical acclaim that he has already received ahead of the film’s official debut, it seems as if the critics believe that he has more than accomplished his goal.

Speaking to Newsweek, Fraser said that the prosthetics that he used in the film were not only cumbersome but also extensive and seamless. A lot of hard work and dedication behind the scenes in the wardrobe department went into making the body suit look as realistic as possible. Even the suit’s sleeves were designed to look as much like real skin as possible.

Fraser further told Newsweek that this role was ‘far removed from anything’ that he had ever done previously. He wrapped up that interview by saying that while he had not yet seen the finished film at the time, he was sure that it was going to make a lasting impression with filmgoers.

Fraser Showed Off His New Look Back In 2021

Brendan, who’s now 52, first showed off his dramatically different look when he made an appearance at the film premiere for his film No Sudden Moves at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in June of 2021.

Fraser donned a black suit, blue shirt, and navy tie at the event. At the time, it was just announced that he was gearing up to play the 600 lb recluse, Charlie, in Aronofsky’s upcoming film. To prepare for the role, the actor intentionally packed on weight.

Following that rare public appearance after years of being out of the spotlight, fans were quick to take to social media to comment on how much they missed seeing Fraser on the big screen.

One fan Tweeted “I Miss Brendan Fraser”, while another noted that “2021 Brendan Fraser” was without a doubt their favorite incarnation of the actor. A third fan noted that as a ‘90’s teen’, they had a serious soft spot for Fraser and that they hoped that he was happy and healthy.

Clearly, Fraser is very committed to his latest role. His dramatic transformation is reminiscent of the equally impressive transformation that actress Charlize Theron committed to when preparing to play the role of serial killer and street prostitute Aileen Wuornos in Patty Perkin’s Academy Award-winning 2003 crime drama film Monster.

Theron was lauded by critics for that portrayal, with film critic Roger Ebert calling her performance one of the greatest in the history of cinema.

Then you have Christian Bale’s similarly shocking transformation when he played the role of Trevor Reznik in 2004s The Machinist. For that role, Bale went from 173 pounds and very buff to a mind-blowing 110 pounds. In order to achieve that, he admitted to submitting himself to a ‘draconian diet’ for almost four months, in which he only consumed one can of tuna and an apple each day.

When actors are willing to undergo such monumental physical changes for the sake of a role, it shows just how committed they are to their craft. It’s very likely that just like Theron and Bale, people will be talking about Fraser’s dedication to his on-screen performance for many years to come.

Fraser Felt Depleted By The End Of The Whale’s Production

Brendan Fraser spent months meticulously rehearsing his lines to perfection, but by the end of The Whale’s filming, he was beginning to feel like he was running on empty.

On one occasion, he was set to film a scene in which his character apologizes for his previous failings as a father and husband to his estranged daughter. Despite devoting so much of his time and energy into preparing for that heart-wrenching scene, Fraser felt like his energy levels were finally getting close to being depleted.

That makes perfect sense, considering how much time he had spent wearing that body suit. But more than that, he was so dedicated to his role that he had literally channeled every last bit of his spirit into it. You can only do such a thing for so long before the wheels start falling off.

While taking a five-minute break after just one take, then going for lunch after a second one, Darren could tell that Fraser was feeling very poorly. So, he called Brendan over and told him that they would be calling it a wrap for the day, and that everyone would be returning to the set the following day.

“You peaked”, the Requiem for a Dream director told Fraser before adding that “it happens”.

Much like Fraser, who fortunately was able to return to the set and finish up his performance in stride, Darren Aronofsky likewise has had quite a long and storied career. From Pi to Black Swan and Mother!, Aronofsky has experimented with numerous film styles over the years.

While his previous films have been quite experimental and all over the place in terms of cinematography, The Whale is a relatively straightforward type of movie. The entire film takes place in a single location, Charlie’s home, from start to finish.

The film marks the culmination of a decade-long journey for the filmmaker. The Whale got it’s start as a stage play written by Samuel D. Hunter. When Darren first saw it in 2012, he was immediately moved.

After reaching out to him, Hunter worked on a screenplay for Aronofsky, But as time went on, challenges arose. For one thing, Aronofsky was determined not to leave the setting of the original play. He wanted the film adaptation to never leave Charlie’s home nor abandon the play’s stationary concept.

Another challenge that Aronofsky faced had to do with casting Charlie. He thought long and hard about every film star who could possibly play Charlie, but no one that he could think of made sense or seemed to click – that is, until Fraser came to his mind.

We here at Facts Verse are big fans of both Darren Aronofsky’s work as well as that of Brendan Fraser. We’re looking forward to seeing how their latest collaboration pans out.

The Whale is slated for release in the United States on December 9, 2022.

Are you excited to see The Whale, and what do you think of the dramatic physical transformation that actor Brendan Fraser made to prep for the role? Let us know in the comments.

Some Still Believe This Lie About Jack Palance After His Death

Old Hollywood Child Stars That Were Treated Terribly Behind the Scenes