Brendan Fraser’s latest film role is already raking in the hype, having won the actor a major pre-Oscars award.
Fraser stars in Darren Aronofsky’s forthcoming drama The Whale, which follows a 600lb man called Charlie as he tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter.
Ahead of the film’s release next month, the star is being honoured by Toronto International Film Festival, which will present him the TIFF Tribute Award at a gala event on Sunday 11 September.
Other names set to receive an accolade at the festival’s annual awards ceremony include director Sam Mendes, and the ensemble cast of My Policeman, including Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, Rupert Everett and more.
After debuting in 2019, the TIFF Tribute Awards have become something of a big deal – not least because many prize winners have often gone on to do well at the Oscars, such as Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), and Anthony Hopkins (The Father).
In The Whale, we see Fraser’s reclusive protagonist Charlie struggling with spiralling binge eating, brought on by the guilt of leaving his family for a gay lover, who later died.
Speaking about the project last year, Fraser revealed the transformation into a 600lb widow was by no means straightforward.
He told Newsweek: “It’s gonna be like something you haven’t seen before. That’s really all I can tell you…The wardrobe and costume was extensive, seamless, cumbersome.
“This is certainly far removed from anything I’ve ever done but not to be coy... I do know it’s going to make a lasting impression.”
Meanwhile, Sadie Sink – who plays his 17-year-old daughter Ellie – recently said Fraser was her ‘favourite human’ after working with him on The Whale.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, she said: "I don't think I'd ever done a project that had that much character work.
"[Director] Darren Aronofsky is obviously brilliant, and working with him was a really formative experience, and Brendan is so incredible in it, and also just probably my favourite human on the planet.
"It was so amazing having that experience with him. I learned a lot about myself as an actress, and tapped into a side of things that I hadn't really explored before."
The Whale will have its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in September 2022.