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Featured Image Credit: @a25/TWITTER/ALAMY
People were stunned after seeing the physical transformation of the 53-year-old - who once played the muscle-bound George of the Jungle lest we forget - in early shots of Darren Aronofsky’s forthcoming drama.
The film follows a 600lb man called Charlie as he tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter, having left his family for a gay lover – who later died, sparking a spiral of guilt-induced binge eating for the reclusive protagonist.
Playing Charlie, Fraser had been seen on the red carpet looking like a fuller figure than he perhaps normally is, but the full change has been laid bare in these early shots of the film - and people are thrilled with it.
In fact, people are so thrilled with it they already think that the actor should be picking up the Oscar in 2023.
"EVERYONE STOP WHAT THE F*** THEYRE DOING!!!!! OUR FIRST PHOTO OF FUTURE OSCAR WINNER BRENDAN FRASER IN THE WHALE BABYYYYYYY!!!!!!?" one Twitter user wrote.
Another commented: "Brendan Fraser can start preparing a lot of variations of his speech because if it's any good I think he's sweeping all the way to the Oscars."
A third wrote: "Brendan Fraser will 100% get an Oscar nomination for 'The Whale' - it will be LONG OVERDUE as he already should have had one by now. Can´t wait to watch this legend do what he does best".
And a fourth added: "There's the Brendan Fraser renaissance I was looking for. He'll likely get an Oscar nod for this."
Fraser has never been nominated for an Oscar despite a storied career.
Known mostly for his roles in action franchises such as The Mummy and not always able to shake off the comedy associations thanks to early films like George of the Jungle and Bedazzled.
However, The Whale seems like something different. The movie – which also features the likes of Stranger Things star Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins – is due to have its world premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.
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.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, she said: "[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."