Across his career, Brendan Fraser has starred in blockbuster epics (The Mummy, Journey to the Center of the Earth) and Oscar-winning dramas (like Crash and Gods and Monsters), along with any number of seminal comedies. For his latest role in The Whale — hailed as his comeback — the actor has said he needed to call on everything he'd done before.
In The Whale, Fraser stars as Charlie, a 600-pound recluse who is grappling with regret and seeking connection in his final days. The film unfolds over five days and through Charlie's interactions with his estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink), his nurse and close friend (Hong Chau), and an Evangelical missionary who knocks on his front door (Ty Simpkins).
"Do you ever get the feeling people are incapable of not caring?" Fraser's Charlie says, the only line of dialogue featured in the trailer. "People are amazing."
The film hails from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Best Director for 2010's Black Swan) from a screenplay by Samuel D. Hunter, adapting his own 2012 stage play of the same name.
"What I love about The Whale is that it invites you to see the humanity of characters who are not all good or all bad, who truly live in grey tones the way people do, and who have extremely rich, intricate inner lives," says Aronofsky. "They’ve all made mistakes, but what they share are immense hearts and the desire to love even when others are seemingly unlovable. It's a story that asks a simple but essential question: can we save each other? That feels important in the world right now, especially when people seem, more than ever, to be turning their backs on one another."
"For me, this is what cinema is all about," the filmmaker adds. "Through the power of emotion, a story like this can put us into the shoes of a man we might otherwise never even wonder about, and remind us that all the promise of love and redemption is there in every human existence."
The Whale opens in theaters on December 9. Watch the trailer below.