Brendan Fraser humble before the Oscars: I've been lucky

Facts: Brendan Fraser

Age: 53 years.

Family: Three children.

Lives: In New York.

Profession: Actor.

Previous films/TV series: “Djungel-George”, “Gods and monsters”, “Right up in the 90s!”, “The devil and me”, “The mummy – the return”, ” The Quiet American”, “Crash”, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, “The Affair”, “Condor”, “Professionals”.

Current: In “The Whale”, which has its Swedish cinema premiere on 10/3.

Based on a stage play and directed by Darren Aronofsky, “The Whale†is the story of the grotesquely overweight college teacher Charles. He lives alone in a house after leaving his family when he fell in love with a male student. Now he senses that he may not have much longer to live.

Charlie seeks contact with his teenage daughter (played by Sadie Sink from “Stranger things†), who hates him because he once abandoned her and her mother.

The low-key and always friendly Fraser got his breakthrough 25 years ago with the comedy “Jungel-George”. Since then, the career has gone up and down and there is talk of the role in “The Whale†as a comeback.

— I’m glad I’ve had a job. I have never been so far away, he says himself.

In the role of the severely overweight Charlie, Brendan Fraser wore what is called a “weight gain suit”. Press photo.

Weighs around 300 kilos

Darren Aronofsky has wanted to make the film for decades, but it wasn’t until he saw Fraser in a low-budget Brazilian film that he found his lead.

— I’m a lucky fellow, states Brendan Fraser.

The film’s Charlie weighs around 300 kilos, and Fraser talks a lot about how he created the body (he doesn’t want it to be called a “fat suit” but instead calls it a “weight gain suit”) and how he met many people who are severely overweight.

— They are used to others driving them around, and they wanted to make sure that we wouldn’t belittle them and make fun of them. We created a trust between us. The people I spoke to all had the same story, that they were overweight as children and that someone had said something cruel that made them feel terrible.

“Felt immense empathy”

This in turn led to them starting to stuff themselves with junk food to comfort themselves, says Brendan Fraser.

— And it’s easy to do in the US given all the junk food that’s always readily available. I felt immense empathy with them. It is so easy to forget that there is a human being in the grotesquely large body.

“The Whale” takes place in a small two-room apartment that was built into a studio. Brendan Fraser describes the feeling as being on a submarine.

— It was extremely crowded, but it was good. When I had the extra body on me, I had a hard time moving, not least when I was going to get from my trailer to the built-up apartment, so I had some who got help me get ahead. But it went well. I may not be smart, but I am strong.

Brendan Fraser received the award for best male actor at the Screen Actors Guild awards on February 26. He celebrated with ex-wife Afton Smith. Archive image.

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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