Brendan Fraser was a highly-sought after actor in the late ’90s, when he graced the screen in various box office hits like The Mummy and George of the Jungle. After the height of his fame, he famously retreated from the spotlight, taking smaller roles in TV shows and making various cameos.
Recently, director Darren Aronofsky approached Fraser to be a key role in The Whale, the story of an obese English teacher who attempts to mend his tumultuous relationship with his teenage daughter, played by Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink. “[Darren] said he wanted an actor to reintroduce,” Fraser told Vanity Fair. “And I wanted to be reintroduced.” Thus, Fraser’s return to the big screen began, though it wasn’t without hesitation.
“If there’s no risk, then why bother?” Fraser added. The actor wanted to take a second shot at his film career as a leading man, which began over 30 years prior. “I want to learn from the people I’m working with at this point in my career. I’ve had such variety, a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I’m keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I’m contributing to the craft and I’m learning from it. This is a prime opportunity.”
First looks of Fraser in The Whale went viral, with many praising his return to more serious work. Fraser himself said that he really wanted to transform into his character in order to return to the screen. “I wanted to disappear into it. My hope was that I would become unrecognizable. I wanted to know what I was capable of.”
His fans already know what he’s capable of: after his role in the now-extinct Batgirl movie was revealed, fans came flooding with praise and came to his defense when the movie was shelved. Many on Twitter were calling this year the Brenaissance as a sign that this would be Brendan Fraser’s renaissance. Despite his absence from the screen, it seems like the Fraser fandom isn’t going anywhere.
The Whale will be released in theaters on December 9th.