Why Brendan Fraser’s Hollywood comeback story is both warming hearts and raising ire


Actor Brendan Fraser arrives on September 4, 2022 for the screening of the film "The Whale" presented at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Actor Brendan Fraser arrives on September 4, 2022 for the screening of the movie “The Whale” introduced on the 79th Venice International Film Festival.

Marco Bertorello / AFP through Getty Images

Brendan Fraser is formally on a comeback.

The Whale, a brand new Darren Aronofsky movie through which Fraser stars, premiered on the Venice Film Festival Sunday evening to a six-minute standing ovation.

Actors and longtime followers alike took to social Media to share their very own happiness on the recognition Fraser acquired with this newest position. As the applause continued for Fraser on Sunday, the actor and some viewers members appeared to get choked up.

This comes years after Fraser was on the top of his profession. So, why has this second has introduced so many individuals pleasure on the similar time that others lament the truth that this movie is Fraser’s return to stardom?

Fraser was as soon as a significant star with hits comparable to George of the Jungle and The Mummy franchise. But after a sustained run as certainly one of Hollywood’s main males, Fraser receded to the sidelines of TV and movie in recent times.

Seeing Fraser who was so “universally loved” by the general public for thus lengthy obtain reward resonated with followers, based on movie and Media historian Chris Yogerst.

“It’s almost like the public was just waiting for this moment,” mentioned Yogerst. “Everyone has missed him. Seeing him back on the screen, it was like an old friend was back.”

Nostalgia definitely performs into the enjoyment this second brings to some individuals, Yogerst mentioned.

“I mean, I’m still nostalgic about the silly remake of Bedazzled,” a Fraser film with Elizabeth Hurley that got here out in 2000, Yogerst mentioned.

Part of this collective happiness additionally stems from information of Fraser’s latest struggles, based on Nicholas Baer, an assistant professor of movie research on the University of Groningen within the Netherlands.

After Fraser was absent from any large Hollywood film for a number of years, GQ printed a profile in 2018 of the actor titled, “What ever happened to Brendan Fraser?”

Brendan Fraser in The Mummy

Brendan Fraser in The Mummy

Getty Images / Getty Images

In it, Fraser mentioned years of affected by accidents (sustained from performing stunts throughout filming of The Mummy franchise), subsequent surgical procedures, private loss and a divorce. Most startling have been particulars Fraser shared of being allegedly groped by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Berk instructed GQ that Fraser’s account was “a total fabrication.”

Fraser within the GQ article overtly questioned whether or not he was truly blacklisted from Hollywood as a result of he got here ahead about his expertise.

“[The Whale] is offering us an opportunity to kind of recognize the virtue and the kind of fundamental decency of Brendan Fraser, who has been really wronged by the industry and has long suffered,” Baer mentioned.

A comeback with controversy

From left to right: Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Darren Aronofsky, Sadie Sink and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter at the screening of the film "The Whale" at the Venice International Film Festival.

From left to proper: Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Darren Aronofsky, Sadie Sink and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter on the screening of the movie “The Whale” on the Venice International Film Festival.

MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP through Getty Images

The Whale is a couple of reclusive English instructor (Fraser) who weighs 600 kilos, and as he struggles together with his well being, tries to reconnect together with his estranged daughter. A mix of prosthetics and CGI Help Fraser as he portrays this character.

Fraser’s return will doubtless be controversial for some, Baer famous.

“I think it’s definitely going to be a point of contention in the discourse. I think it’s a practice [the use of prosthetics or so-called fat suits] that has been relatively commonplace among major Hollywood actors for a long time and that’s been increasingly criticized for being fat phobic and offensive,” Baer mentioned.

Indeed, critics have turned to social Media to say that the film’s premise is inherently dehumanizing. There’s a query of whether or not it ought to have been made in any respect.

Aubrey Gordon, an writer and co-host of the Maintenance Phase, a podcast targeted on debunking well being fads, took to Twitter to name out the film’s goal.

“It’s so telling that so many only see fat people as ‘humanized’ in Media that shows us doing exactly what they expect: living short, small lives; ‘eating ourselves to death’; feeling sad & regretful. All reminders of how tragic it is to be fat, and how superior it is to be thin,” she wrote.

This form of Media simply “reinforces viewers’ anti-fat bias,” she wrote.

Pia Glenn, a Broadway actress, additionally criticized the film, lamenting the fact that this movie is Fraser’s comeback.

“Mr. Fraser’s ‘comeback’ and personal journey as an actor and human are significant and I hate that I feel so negatively about the project that brought them about. I know I won’t see it, so I’ve been reading reviews,” she wrote on Twitter. “References to rolls and hanging flesh and Jabba the Hut (!) NO.”

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