The world seems almost as excited for Brendan Fraser’s return to being a leading man in Darren Aronofsky’s new drama The Whale as they were for Taylor Swift’s latest album. The newly released trailer for the movie conveys a great deal of pathos in a short minute, focusing on Fraser’s face as he stares out to sea while wearing his controversial fat-suit. The story is based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter, with Fraser portraying a 600-pound, reclusive English teacher who left his family for another man, but desperately wants to reconnect with his teen daughter, played by Stranger Thing’s Sadie Sink, before it’s too late.
“It’s gonna be like something you haven’t seen before,” Fraser said of his performance. “That’s really all I can tell you… The wardrobe and costume was extensive, seamless, cumbersome. This is certainly far removed from anything I’ve ever done but not to be coy…I do know it’s going to make a lasting impression.”
The filmed was screened at both the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in the fall, and received a six minute standing ovation at Venice. It’s also generated considerable awards buzz for 53-year-old Fraser, with many prognosticators pegging him as the likely favorite to take home the Best Actor trophy at the Oscars.
Sink told Backstage in an interview that it was an intense experience on set for her.
“It was really important that I had that experience, because I pushed myself as an actor further than I ever had before,” she said. “When I returned to Stranger Things, it was like I’d come back from boot camp or something... There was a shift; something clicked. It gave me a level of confidence that has stuck with me since.”
In addition to Fraser and Sink, the movie stars Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Huck Milner, Sathya Sridharan, and Ryan Heinke. The film will be out on December 9.