Brendan Fraser’s Emotional Performance Will Make You Cry in New ‘The Whale’ Trailer

Brendan Fraser underwent a dramatic physical transformation to play a 600-pound professor in Darren Aronofsky The whale, and the new trailer for the film anticipates an exciting inner evolution for the Oscar-winning actor as well.

The latest preview of the film (below) offers a more intimate look into the life of Charlie (Fraser), a reclusive gay educator who spends his days in a small Idaho apartment, where his only social interactions are with his friend and longtime caregiver. , Liz (Hong Chau).

Their relationship hits a snag, however, when Charlie’s health takes a turn for the worse, prompting him to attempt to reconnect with his estranged and prickly teenage daughter, Ellie (Stranger things protagonist Sadie Sink), whom he hasn’t seen since he broke up with his mother (Samantha Morton) when she was eight.

“You are an amazing person, Ellie. I couldn’t ask for a more amazing daughter,” Charlie says in the clip, though Ellie objects to his approach, which later prompts Charlie to ask, “Who would want you to be a part of their life? “

The whale

The whale

A24 Brendan Fraser in “The Whale”

As the trailer closes, Charlie breaks down as he declares his intentions to bond with Ellie in his final act.

“I need to know that he’s going to have a decent life, where he cares for people, and he’s going to be okay,” she says through tears. “I need to know that I’ve done one thing right in my life.”

Though the film received critical praise for the performance of Fraser — who is strongly leaning towards garnering the actor his first Academy Award nomination in January — Aronofsky’s decision to cast the star as a 600-pound man sparked criticism across the industry as well, with writer Roxane Gay even penning an essay for the New York Times on the treatment of obesity in the film.

“I understand why people have some of those reactions because, look, the story of portraying people suffering from obesity in film isn’t good, they’re basically the butt of ridicule or jokes, or they’re completely one-dimensional. I understand when they’re presented with that value rated, a lot of people have a reaction,” writer Samuel D. Hunter previously told EW, further calling the film an “invitation” to empathize with Charlie instead of judging him. “If you meet that invitation with a frown, then we’re at an impasse. But, if you accept that invitation and walk in, I think you’ll find that this is the diametric opposite of the way obesity has traditionally been portrayed and treated in the cinema”.

Brendan Fraser in

Brendan Fraser in “The Whale”

A24 Brendan Fraser Makes Exciting Return in ‘The Whale’

In a separate interview, Fraser added, “What we’ve seen with the body types in the movies prior to this one — I’ve watched a lot of them. I think those costumes, whether they were malicious or not, cited signs around a person who lives with obesity and it could just be because [was] an athletic actor inside a silhouette of a costume filled with cotton batting, and there’s a disconnect. This didn’t exist in Charlie’s design. He has mobility issues, he sweats profusely, he doesn’t look good, he doesn’t eat for pleasure, he has flaws, he is still, despite all these things, somehow, eternally optimistic. He needed to make a decision whether to just not exist or lean into what he knew he cared about books, literature, teaching and being an educator and bring the truth and honesty out of people as a way to their redemption”.

The whale is now in limited release via A24, with nationwide expansion slated for December 21st. Check out the new trailer for the film above, and watch EW Awardist’s full interview with Fraser above.

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