Brendan Fraser gains weight for new role

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • From The Mummy to The Whale: Actor Brendan Fraser (above) makes a rare public appearance ahead of his next movie, in which he plays a morbidly obese recluse.

The former action star of movies such as The Mummy trilogy (1999 to 2008) and George Of The Jungle (1997) wrapped filming on The Whale in April, in which he plays a 270kg man who is slowly eating himself to death following the death of his love.

He appeared at the premiere of No Sudden Move, a thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Jon Hamm and David Harbour, last Friday in New York.

The 52-year-old has previously spoken about his weight gain due to multiple operations which derailed his Hollywood ascent after blockbusters in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The extreme physical exertion his acting roles demanded - he also did his own stunts - took a toll on his body. He spent seven years going in and out of hospitals for operations including a partial knee replacement, vocal cord repair work and a lumbar laminectomy - the surgical removal of a bony area of the spine called the lamina - which led to his weight gain.

In recent years, he has gone from Hollywood heart-throb to supporting actor in television shows such as drama The Affair (2016 to 2017) and superhero series Doom Patrol (2019 to present).

The Whale, which is adapted from Samuel D. Hunter's play of the same name, is directed by Darren Aronofsky, who helmed the Oscar-nominated psychological thriller Black Swan (2010).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2021, with the headline 'Brendan Fraser gains weight for new role'. Subscribe