Keith is causing a lot of buzz this season, and many consider him the triumphant return of Brendan Fraser. Recently, director Darren Aronofsky revealed that it took him 10 years to find a suitable actor for the role of Charlie.
In “The Whale” A24, Charlie’s English teacher struggles to reconnect with his estranged daughter after abandoning his family for a mistress years ago. Now his beloved is dead, and grief and guilt push Charlie to uncontrollable gluttony, because of which he weighs 600 pounds. At the Venice International Film Festival, “The Whale” received 6-minute applause and brought the star of Fraser to tears. Critics agree that Fraser played Charlie brilliantly, but casting was not easy for the director.
In an interview with Deadline, Aronofsky said it took him 10 years to find the right actor for Charlie. “I spent a lot of time meeting and thinking about a lot of different actors. People also approached me and offered different actors. But [the choice] just didn’t get me out of bed in the morning to do it.” The struggle to find a suitable actor stalled the film for almost a decade. In 2012, “The Whale” was staged based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter. Aronofsky, who was in the audience, came to the conclusion that he should make a film. But without someone to play Charlie, the film will not be able to develop.
Everything changed when Aronofsky accidentally saw the trailer for the independent Brazilian film “Journey to the Edge of the Night”, which starred none other than Fraser himself, the star of “The Mummy”. It was then that a light bulb “flashed in the director’s head,” according to an interview with the Associated Press. Aronofsky recalls contacting the actor, saying, “Meeting him as a gentleman and feeling his presence, I thought: “This guy could do it.” It was just an inner feeling,” according to an article from Term. “We arranged a script reading, and from that moment we thought: “Okay, we have Charlie.”
Fraser was once the biggest star in Hollywood, known for such action films as “The Mummy” (1999) and “George from the Jungle” (1997). But over the past decade or two, his career has sharply declined due to a tragic combination of bodily injuries, trauma from sexual harassment and, according to the actor, being blacklisted by the film industry for speaking out against his abuser. But now the beloved and once ubiquitous actor is back. Even more poignant is the obvious similarity between the actor and his role of Charlie. Both are dealing with events that happened many years ago, struggling to overcome their grief and trying to open up.
The release of the “Whale” is scheduled for December 9, 2022.