Brendan Fraser’s The Whale Performance Has Been Universally Acclaimed, And Freddie Prinze Jr. Reveals How It Changed Him

Brendan Fraser and Freddie Prinze Jr.
(Image credit: A24/Netflix)

Ever since the first look of Brendan Fraser’s appearance came out for his new movie The Whale, critics and audiences believe we already have our winner for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor. This talented actor will make his comeback playing a 600-pound man who attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Freddie Prinze Jr. has expressed how watching Frasier’s heartbreaking performance has influenced his life going forward.

Freddie Prinze Jr. has been married to fellow actress Sarah Michelle Gellar who also saw The Whale and rendered her “utterly speechless” watching her former co-star. While interviewing Brendan Fraser for Interview Magazine, he told The Mummy actor about how his award-winning performance really resonated with him as both a father of two children and being a son.

I told you it made me want to be a better father. A better husband. A better friend. It forces you to look inside yourself. You also said something about how whatever you bring into that theater as an audience member, however you’re programmed to receive information, this movie challenges that in a very gentle way.

During this interview, Brendan Fraser spoke about how he did research into his character by attending meetings at the Obesity Action Coalition, where members are either families and people who live with someone who is obese or who are obese themselves. The School Ties actor said that what each person had in common who told their story was that they had someone in their childhood who was cruel to them which influenced the rest of their life. That person was often a father. 

Freddie Prinze Jr. was touched by Fraser’s performance because of the views he had of his own father, who died of an accidental gunshot when he was less than a year old. He spoke about the level of anger that he still had for his father and the choices he made, but still has a genuine love for his father and no longer blames him for anything. Emotions poured through the Scooby Doo actor seeing the honest and complicated relationship between the character of Charlie and his estranged daughter (played by Sadie Sink). To be able to see the daughter scream at her father for not being around was exactly what Prinze Jr. said he would do at a plague on a wall in Forest Lawn cemetery that he'd visit once a month. But after watching The Whale, the 46-year-old actor “just sat [at the cemetery] and had the biggest, stupidest smile on my face.” This must mean that The Whale truly does accomplish its underlying message of how emotionally complex some relationships can be when life delivers us a harsh reality.

Brendan Fraser’s performance as Charlie in the A24 movie has received nothing but praise. The movie hasn’t even hit theaters yet and he already has a major award as the recipient of the Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF Tribute Award. He also received a six-minute standing ovation at The Whale’s Venice Film Festival premiere that left him filled with smiles and tears through each bow he gave. Critics' thoughts on Fraser’s performance had them saying he did a brilliant job giving audiences a touching performance with the use of prosthesis and a bodysuit not taking anything away from his acting. 

The 53-year-old actor’s reaction to his acclaim has made him feel emotional and grateful that his work on The Whale was making an impact. Freddie Prinze Jr. is just one out of the masses who will be touched by this Oscar potential movie by the time the end credits roll. Prepare to be moved by Brendan Fraser’s performance when you watch the upcoming movie The Whale hit theaters on December 9th.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.