'Mean Girls' star calls out 'The Whale' for hiring Brendan Fraser over an 'obese queer man'

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By Asiya Ali

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Daniel Franzese has called into question whether it was appropriate to cast Brendan Fraser as an obese gay man in the forthcoming film, The Whale.

While the 53-year-old actor has gained acclaim for his performance in the film following its recent premiere, it has also been met with negative commentary as some criticized the decision to have the actor wear a fat suit for his role as a 600lb man.

Now, Franzese, 44, who played the role of Damian in the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, spoke with People about the upcoming flick and asked why "other big queer guys" were dismissed for the role.

"I love Brendan Fraser, [so] I'm very conflicted," he said. "Seeing him get up so modest in Venice and have that moment, I was very happy for him. He's a lovely man. And it's great. But why? Why go up there and wear a fat suit to play a 400lb queer man?"

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Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

The Bully actor also told the publication that "actors like me and my colleagues" would "jump at" the opportunity to play such a role.

"To finally have a chance to be in a prestige film that might be award-nominated, where stories about people who look like us are being told? That's the dream."

"So when they go time and time again and cast someone like Brendan Fraser, me and the other big queer guys, we're like, 'What the?' We can't take it!" Franzese added.

Franzese also said that the director, Darren Aronofsky, was one of his favorites, explaining that he would have "loved to have read for this," explaining: "I mean, who knows more about being an obese queer man than an obese queer man?"

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Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy

"But I guess you can go ahead and wear a fat suit and do what you got to do and get your Oscar. We'll just sit here, waiting," he remarked.

The Looking: The Movie actor cited wider issues in the industry, saying: "People like me and my colleagues can't really sell movies overseas if we are actually queer because the world is homophobic".

"Even if America is ready for a gay person in the lead like that, they have a hard time selling the movie overseas, so they get scared," Franzese went on.

"But it's going to take risk-takers and real trailblazers to let us cut our teeth in these roles as actors so we, too, can have a shot at a full career in Hollywood," he added.

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Credit: AGENZIA SINTESI / Alamy

The Mummy actor - who reportedly worked with the Obesity Action Coalition for research - has addressed the criticism surrounding his wearing a fat suit.

He said that the experience gained from this role gave him "an appreciation for the incredible courage they have to possess themself," per Entertainment Weekly.

"It takes an incredibly strong-willed and physically strong person to live inside a body that is, in Charlie's case, hundreds and hundreds of pounds," he added.

Also, according to the outlet, during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, Fraser further explained the significance of his role. He said that he discovered once he took the suit off, he could "still feel the sensation of wearing it".

"At the same time, once I took all the applications off at the end of the day, I felt a deepening sense of respect for people who live in that corporal being, because I could remove it like clothing and wardrobe and makeup, and their challenge to do that with their own body is not as sudden," he said.

The Whale is set to be released in theaters on December 9.

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

'Mean Girls' star calls out 'The Whale' for hiring Brendan Fraser over an 'obese queer man'

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Daniel Franzese has called into question whether it was appropriate to cast Brendan Fraser as an obese gay man in the forthcoming film, The Whale.

While the 53-year-old actor has gained acclaim for his performance in the film following its recent premiere, it has also been met with negative commentary as some criticized the decision to have the actor wear a fat suit for his role as a 600lb man.

Now, Franzese, 44, who played the role of Damian in the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, spoke with People about the upcoming flick and asked why "other big queer guys" were dismissed for the role.

"I love Brendan Fraser, [so] I'm very conflicted," he said. "Seeing him get up so modest in Venice and have that moment, I was very happy for him. He's a lovely man. And it's great. But why? Why go up there and wear a fat suit to play a 400lb queer man?"

wp-image-1263171471 size-full
Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

The Bully actor also told the publication that "actors like me and my colleagues" would "jump at" the opportunity to play such a role.

"To finally have a chance to be in a prestige film that might be award-nominated, where stories about people who look like us are being told? That's the dream."

"So when they go time and time again and cast someone like Brendan Fraser, me and the other big queer guys, we're like, 'What the?' We can't take it!" Franzese added.

Franzese also said that the director, Darren Aronofsky, was one of his favorites, explaining that he would have "loved to have read for this," explaining: "I mean, who knows more about being an obese queer man than an obese queer man?"

size-full wp-image-1263171487
Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy

"But I guess you can go ahead and wear a fat suit and do what you got to do and get your Oscar. We'll just sit here, waiting," he remarked.

The Looking: The Movie actor cited wider issues in the industry, saying: "People like me and my colleagues can't really sell movies overseas if we are actually queer because the world is homophobic".

"Even if America is ready for a gay person in the lead like that, they have a hard time selling the movie overseas, so they get scared," Franzese went on.

"But it's going to take risk-takers and real trailblazers to let us cut our teeth in these roles as actors so we, too, can have a shot at a full career in Hollywood," he added.

wp-image-1263168033 size-full
Credit: AGENZIA SINTESI / Alamy

The Mummy actor - who reportedly worked with the Obesity Action Coalition for research - has addressed the criticism surrounding his wearing a fat suit.

He said that the experience gained from this role gave him "an appreciation for the incredible courage they have to possess themself," per Entertainment Weekly.

"It takes an incredibly strong-willed and physically strong person to live inside a body that is, in Charlie's case, hundreds and hundreds of pounds," he added.

Also, according to the outlet, during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, Fraser further explained the significance of his role. He said that he discovered once he took the suit off, he could "still feel the sensation of wearing it".

"At the same time, once I took all the applications off at the end of the day, I felt a deepening sense of respect for people who live in that corporal being, because I could remove it like clothing and wardrobe and makeup, and their challenge to do that with their own body is not as sudden," he said.

The Whale is set to be released in theaters on December 9.

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy