LGBTQ Actor Daniel Franzese Shares Feelings On Brendan Fraser Taking On A Fat Suit To Film The Whale

Brendan Fraser in the whale/ Daniel Franzese in Mean Girls
(Image credit: A24/Paramount Pictures)

Brenden Fraser is receiving a lot of positive buzz from his performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. The movie is part of a comeback for Fraser has been working on for the last few years, and many fans are happy to see him back in the spotlight. However, there has also been some criticism of the movie, including the decision to cast Fraser.

Daniel Franzese, an actor who appeared in Mean Girls, recently spoke with People and admitted that, while he is one of the people happy to see Brenden Fraser’s recent success, he’s also frustrated by the fact that the Mummy actor was hired to play the role when there are other “big queer guys” who could have played  the part of a 600-lb gay man. Franzese explains…

I love Brendan Fraser, [so] I'm very conflicted. 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 400-lb. queer man? 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!

It’s certainly far from uncommon to see characters in movies that are within a particular minority, played by actors who are not part of that group. We see straight actors playing gay characters all the time. Seeing a gay actor play a straight character is much more rare. 

The major issue with this is that it often leaves out actors who are part of those minority groups, who also are not getting other acting roles because of their minority status. When a role like The Whale comes along, actors like Daniel Franzese see it as a potential opportunity as it fits who they are so well, but he was never given a shot at it, and it went to somebody else who needed to be transformed into what he already was. Franzese continues…

I would have loved to have read for this. I mean, who knows more about being an obese queer man than an obese queer man? 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.

David Franzese might not be speaking entirely metaphorically. There has been a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding Fraser in The Whale and a nomination seems to be a very real possibility. If that happens there will certainly be many fans happy to see Fraser's success, and there’s little question that Fraser puts forth a strong performance in The Whale. But this does show that every time an actor is hired a choice is made, and that choice can be somewhat telling regarding what the movie sees as important.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.