Actor Brendan Fraser, who is known for his work in films such as ‘George Of The Jungle and ‘The Mummy’ franchise, got teary eyed after his film ‘The Whale’ received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.
When the credits rolled on the Darren Aronofsky drama, in which Fraser plays a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair, the actor was overcome with emotion.
Among those spotted inside the Sala Grande Theatre were Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Nick Kroll and Hillary Clinton staffer Huma Abedin, who was seated a few rows behind Fraser and shed as many tears as he did. Many others inside the theatre also broke out a handkerchief during the film’s heartbreaking final scenes, reports ‘Variety’.
Fraser hugged Aronofsky several times during the ovation. He tried to leave the theatre at one point, but the outpouring of clapping was so loud, he stayed longer and took a bow.
‘The Whale’ stars Fraser as a man living with severe obesity who struggles to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter, played by ‘Stranger Things’ breakout Sadie Sink.
The supporting cast includes Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins. The movie is based on the play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter, who adapted the stage script into Aronofsky’s feature.
To play the lead character in the film, Fraser wore a prosthetic suit that added anywhere from 50 to 300 pounds given the scene.
The actor spent as much as six hours in the makeup chair each day to fully transform into the character.
In an interview ahead of the film’s Venice premiere,Fraser shared that his prosthetic suit was “cumbersome, not exactly comfortable”, adding: “The torso piece was almost like a strait jacket with sleeves that went on, airbrushed by hand, to look identical as would human skin, right down to the hand-punched hair.”
“I developed muscles I did not know I had,” Fraser told journalists at the Venice press conference about wearing the prosthetic suit.
“I even felt a sense of vertigo at the end of the day when all the appliances were removed; it was like stepping off the dock onto a boat in Venice. That (sense of) undulating. It gave me appreciation for those whose bodies are similar. You need to be an incredibly strong person, mentally and physically, to inhabit that physical being.”
Although Fraser had a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘No Sudden Move’ last year, ‘The Whale’ marks a huge comeback for the actor in his first starring role in a film since 2013’s direct-to-DVD action movie ‘Breakout’.
On Fraser’s upcoming docket is Martin Scorsese’s Apple western ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’. His turn as Garfield Lynns/Firefly in the DC tentpole ‘Batgirl’ will not be seen as Warner Bros. canceled the film’s release.