On the surface, it doesn’t seem like Brendan Fraser’s 2023 Oscar-winning turn as Charlie in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale has anything in common with horror movies. However, looks can be deceiving because, The Mummy actor recently explained the really cool connection the drama has with everyone’s favorite killer plaything, M3GAN.
The Whale sees Fraser taking on the role of Charlie, a character grappling with obesity and the complexities of food addiction. He had to don hundreds of pounds of prosthetics and harnesses to portray the complicated character. In an interview with Backstage, the Doom Patrol alum revealed that the make-up which made his performance possible was done by legendary make-up artist Adrien Morot, who also designed M3GAN for the 2023 sci-fi horror box-office smash. While the pint-sized murderous doll was designed so audiences would crawl in their skin, Charlie had to be a real-life breathing person. The prosthetics were meticulously designed to enhance Fraser’s portrayal of Charlie believably. Here’s how Fraser describes it:
Charlie could have been a creation such as a murder robot, but he wasn’t. He’s a human being. So often, the make-up we’ve seen when creating a person who lives with a larger body has been in service of some dumb, one-note joke. We’re beyond that now.
Fraser’s dedication to portraying Charlie goes beyond the superficial; he has delved deep into the character’s complexities, ensuring that he resonates with the audience on a profound level. While he acknowledges the divisive reactions to the film, which received backlash, Fraser is no stranger to such polarizing reception and stands by his choices. Interestingly, the No Sudden Move actor’s worldview aligns closely with the thought-provoking theme presented in The Whale’s climax: the idea that people are inherently incapable of not caring. Fraser eagerly embraces the chance to respectfully disagree with those who take issue with the movie’s sentiments, saying:
I’ve heard from many [cynics] in the response that’s come from this film, I guarantee you, the audience who comes to see The Whale already has a preconceived notion about it for a couple of reasons: Because they heard it’s about a guy who lives with obesity, maybe they’re like, ‘Oh, ick. I don’t want to know about that. But once they’ve accepted that invitation without a furrowed brow and taken a seat in that theater, after five minutes, they see he’s just a man. ‘He’s someone I know. I don’t see the seams and the dotted lines around what I would come to expect from a fully digital creation.
Fraser has consistently been careful in his choice of words, adamantly refusing to label the prosthetics as a mere “fat suit.” He and his character adhered to the principles of physics and gravity, adding an extra layer of authenticity to their performances. Unlike previous actors who have tackled plus-sized roles, the George of the Jungle actor experienced the genuine physical challenges that Charlie faced due to his mobility limitations. This unique approach required make-up artist Morot to tackle the intricate task of conceptualizing prosthetics that respected the character’s identity. From prosthetic arms and legs to a chest, neck, and oversized cheeks, Charlie’s appearance was meticulously crafted. The attention to detail paid off, as evidenced by Morot’s well-deserved Academy Award nomination, especially for the compelling shower scene where Charlie bared it all.
Despite having a few upcoming projects scheduled for the 2023 new movie releases, including the highly anticipated Killers of the Flower Moon directed by Martin Scorsese, Brendan Fraser has surprisingly not confirmed his next film after his Oscar win. The accomplished actor is taking a selective approach in choosing his next venture following this significant milestone. While his future plans remain unknown, Fraser has openly expressed his interest in the possibility of another Mummy movie. And let’s be honest, who better than the talented mastermind behind the captivating looks of both Charlie and M3GAN to bring ancient creatures to life? All eyes are on you, Mr. Morot!
If you want to stay up on what Brendan Fraser chooses to do next, stay tuned to Cinemablend. Fans of the actor might also be interested in revisiting 1999's The Mummy, now streaming for anyone with a Peacock subscription.