American actor Brendan Fraser has played down early awards buzz for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky The whalewhich is launching today in Competition in Venice.
“That is to say,” Fraser said of the idea that the film will send her career in a different direction. “My crystal ball is broken – I don’t know if yours works. It was a great opportunity to enter into another man’s physical and bodily being, and the story of the inner life he carries with him. I don’t know of any actors in my peer group who wouldn’t want to work with Darren.
“I’m just trying to stick with today,” the actor said of the possible awards. “I guess all I have to worry about is your well-being at the moment. I can’t wait to see how deeply this film will make an impression on everyone as well as me. .
In The whaleFraser plays Charlie, a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity, who tries to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.
The whale is an A24 production, produced by Aronofsky, Jeremy Dawson and Ari Handel. A24 will be released in the US and is also selling the film, with deals already in place for territories including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia and Australia/New Zealand.
The film takes place entirely in one room. “I started in this business with $20,000 and a dream,” Aronofsky said of the limitation, referring to his first film. Pi. “I learned back then that your limits aren’t chains, they’re your gateway to freedom. As a filmmaker, as soon as you have something limited, it’s very exciting.
The filmmaker said it took 10 years to bring The whale on the screens, “because it took 10 years to cast the film”.
“I considered everyone – all different types of actors, every movie star on the planet. But none of it ever really clicked – it didn’t move me, it didn’t seem fine,” Aronofsky said.
It was seeing Fraser in the trailer for a Brazilian film that ‘a light bulb went on’ – an impression that only grew when he tested face-to-face stranger things star Sadie Sink as her daughter.
This test took place on February 26, 2020; with the ensuing pandemic putting the film on hold. But when filming became possible again in 2021, The whale was the ideal project.
“The whale it’s five actors in a room,” Aronofsky said. “It’s really controllable, we can have protection against the Covid. No one fell ill on set.
Aronofsky said he was a firm believer in fighting cynicism, quoting a line from Samuel D Hunter’s play on which The whale is based – ‘people are unable not to care’.
“The cynical point of view is alive and well, but it’s at war with Charlie’s hope and love and worldview,” he said.
“This is the most important message to send to the world right now. Everyone leans into cynicism and darkness and abandons hope; and that’s exactly what we don’t need right now. We have to lean on that underneath it all, we all care about each other.
The whale premieres tonight at the Sala Grande; tomorrow’s world premieres include Olivia Wilde don’t worry darling and Martin McDonagh The Banshees of Inisherin.