The role of Brendan Fraser in 'The Whale' has been criticized because the actor is not gay and does not weigh 600 pounds like his character Charlie, in addition to some voices calling the film fatphobic. However, the performance, emotional message and physical transformation in 'The Whale' has also earned Brendan Fraser standing ovations, accolades from the industry and fans, as well as an Oscar nomination. To bring Charlie to life, he worked with the Obesity Action Coalition and spoke to overweight people, though perhaps what helped him the most was the process of putting on makeup and prosthetics to look like someone 600 pounds.
This is how Brendan Fraser transformed for his role in 'The Whale' The process to transform Brendan Fraser into Charlie was handled by makeup artist Adrien Morot and involved prosthetics, makeup and a special "fat suit," weighing in total up to 300 pounds. Brendan Fraser spent 5-6 hours in the make-up area every morning before shooting began, although gradually the make-up workers reduced the time to 2-3 hours. Now the person in charge of the makeup area spoke with Entertainment Weekly on February 22, 2023 and shared a behind-the-scenes video that shows the entire process and time it took to transform Brendan Fraser into Charlie.
Charlie (Brendan Fraser) ‘The Whale’. Crédito: A24
Adrien Morot said that using the "fat suit" and combining it with the makeup to make it work in the dramatic film was a complicated task, because generally in the cinema they are used for comedies and look exaggerated. “How you do makeup that's non-distracting while obviously being respectful and empathetic and precise, and that people will forget after the initial shock of seeing Brendan Fraser in that state. So will people just dive into the story and watch Charlie for the rest of the movie? Those were the biggest challenges from the beginning."
Regarding the prostheses and the suit, he commented that they were placed differently depending on the type of scene that was going to be filmed and the parts of Fraser's body that appeared in the frame. “We had two face pieces, one for the front and one for the back, going down to the top of the chest. Then, most days, (Fraser) had arms that went from her fingertips to her shoulder, which overlapped the chest piece. So she had that on both sides, and then she had legs that went up to her waist, like this, and then she had a midsection."