His Hollywood heartthrob days may be a thing of the past but Brendan Fraser’s appearance is still getting people talking.
The actor’s weight gain had been a subject of conversation in recent years and it’s started up again thanks to his new role in the upcoming movie The Whale.
In the drama directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan), Brendan (52) plays a 270kg schoolteacher slowly eating himself to death while grieving the death of his wife.
The Doom Patrol actor had to spend hours in the makeup chair having prosthetics applied to change his appearance, but having packed on the kilos in real life made getting into character easier, he says.
“This is certainly far removed from anything I’ve ever done and I know it’s going to make a lasting impression,” he told Newsweek recently.
Brendan, who also stars in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh-directed movie No Sudden Move opposite Benicio del Toro, Jon Hamm and Don Cheadle, has previously spoken about the weight he gained after undergoing multiple operations necessitated by the physical strain he endured performing stunts in the late ’90s for movies such as George of the Jungle (1997) and The Mummy (1999).
From 2008 he spent seven years in and out of hospital with injuries to his knees, spine and vocal cords, and his career faltered too.
“I felt like the horse from [the George Orwell book] Animal Farm, whose job it was to work and work and work. I don’t know if I’ve been sent to the glue factory, but I’ve felt like I’ve had to rebuild s**t that I’ve built that got knocked down and do it again for the good of everyone,” he said. “Whether it hurts you or not.”
Brendan says his career nosedived after he complained about an incident of sexual assault in 2003. He said he became deeply depressed after his buttocks were groped by Philip Berk, a South African-born journalist and then head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the Golden Globe Awards. Philip (now 88) denied the allegation.
“I was blaming myself and I was miserable, because I was saying, ‘This is nothing, this guy reached around and he copped a feel.’ That summer wore on and I can’t remember what I went on to work on next.”
Work “withered on the vine for me. In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me,” he told GQ magazine in 2018.
But the father of three’s work rate has increased again in recent years, starting with roles in the series The Affair, Trust and Condor.
And fans believe this is the year Brendan will truly make his comeback. “I’m so ready for this man to rise from the ashes like a glorious fat phoenix and take the world by storm again,” one tweeted.
Sources: news.amomama.com, people.com, newsweek.com, imdb.com, bbc.com