Brendan Fraser Reveals A Funny Connection Between The Whale And M3GAN

The connection you never saw coming. Believe it or not, Darren Aronofsky's drama "The Whale" and the horror hit "M3GAN" have something in common — and it's definitely not what you expected.

It all stems from Aronofsky's film, which was approached much like a play, according to Backstage magazine. The publication went on to explain that "[Star Brendan] Fraser embraced the raw authenticity" of the film's production, and to him, that extended to the "hundreds of pounds of prosthetics and harnesses he wore." The design was created and executed by makeup artist Adrien Morot, who, funnily enough, is the same person who designed the M3GAN doll a mere couple of months later.

Fraser joked with Backstage in an interview, "Charlie could have been a creation such as a murder robot, but he wasn't. He's a human being. So often, the makeup we've seen when creating a person who lives with a larger body has been in service of some dumb, one-note joke. We're beyond that now."

It's all about perspective

"The Whale," which is based on a play of the same title by the film's screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter, has been plagued by discourse since it debuted Off-Broadway in 2012. It has been seen as fatphobic and insensitive, and when I was a young, fat acting student in New York City at the time of its heyday, I completely agreed with the sentiment. This part isn't funny, but it should be said nonetheless.

Fraser is right that we've long since subjugated fat people to being "in the service of some dumb, one-note joke." It felt that, at the time of the debut of "The Whale," the only people praising it for being a life-changing work of art were thin people who thought the fat experience was some struggle to be idolized for the strength it required. It felt predatory, almost as if we were art pieces behind glass to be gawked at. The vulnerability crushed me and forced me to personally to cut myself off, which led to my craft suffering. I had to relearn how to open up, all because a work so beloved had seemingly chosen to make a mockery of something I couldn't help but be.

Fraser's fresh humanity

Fast forward to the 2022 film, Fraser's performance is the main tenet that saves this story from rehashing its fatphobic and predatory qualities. While the script stays largely the same, Fraser's turn as lead character Charlie injects a fresh humanity into the role that has otherwise been painfully absent in past theatrical portrayals and in the text itself. With Fraser's turn, we see a man drowning in society's ideals, brainwashed to think he's a terrible person and the root cause of it all is his weight. Though Fraser claims we're "beyond" the one-note jokes, society is not as a whole — and films like "The Whale" prove it in some aspects. Fat people deserve peace from fatphobia, and if Charlie had that, he wouldn't have been the object of so much disgust. Maybe we're not outwardly joking about it anymore, but that doesn't mean it's any less present.

That all said, if Fraser and the "M3GAN" team want to come together for a robot doll with his likeness, I think I speak for many when I say ... I would like to see it. Let's leave "The Whale" out of it, though.