Finally, fans can see a glimpse of Brendan Fraser’s highly-lauded performance.
A24 released the first official trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale this week, after the film received long standing ovations at festivals in September.
Fraser plays a 270kg English teacher named Charlie who suffers from morbid obesity and is struggling to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink, after abandoning his wife and child for a gay lover. The movie also stars Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins.
“Do you ever get the feeling people are incapable of not caring?” Fraser says in the trailer. “People are amazing.”
Prior to the trailer, the only glimpse fans got of the upcoming film was in a close-up image of an unrecognisable Fraser.
The script was written by Samuel D. Hunter, adapted from his own 2012 stage play.
The film premiered at Venice International Film Festival, where Fraser broke down in tears during a six-minute standing ovation for his role. The actor also got emotional during another standing ovation at the BFI London Film Festival.
The Whale signals Fraser’s career comeback to Hollywood after stepping away due to depression. In 2018, he revealed that a former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president allegedly sexually assaulted him in 2003.
It’s his first lead role in a movie since the straight-to-DVD thriller Breakout in 2013.
Fraser told Variety he wanted to fully immerse himself in Charlie’s character and become “unrecognisable”.
“If there’s no risk, then why bother?” Fraser said. “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. I wanted to disappear into it. My hope was that I would become unrecognisable.”
The Whale hits theatres on December 9.
Originally published as Viewers given first look at Brendan Fraser’s comeback in The Whale trailer