'We All Want Brendan Fraser To Have A Great Comeback,' But Bros Actor Has A Problem With It Too

This year, Brendan Fraser is making his return to the big screen, starring in Darren Aronofsky’s movie The Whale, which is based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter of the same name. The story follows an obese gay man who is trying to reconnect with his daughter. Now, Guy Branum, who recently starred in Bros, discussed his thoughts on Fraser’s casting and the source material the Aronofsky film is based on. 

Critics have praised the movie and specifically Fraser’s performance; some are even saying the race for Best Actor at the Oscars may already be over. However, people are also criticizing Fraser’s casting as the character. The Bros cast member explained that he has “real problems” with them casting a straight actor who “is not very fat” and had to use prosthetics on Fraser in the movie. Branum explained his feelings to Pride.

We all want Brendan Fraser to have a great comeback. We all want this moment for him. But we also need to think about how much we are representing queer life and fat life through straight actors or prosthetics.

Daniel Franzese also shared a similar thought recently about the choice to cast Fraser in The Whale. The actor, who is best known for his role as Damian in Mean Girls, explained that while he’s happy for the star, he also questions the use of prosthetics in the movie to make him look like he’s 600 pounds. Franzese said that while there could have gone with “me and the other big queer guys” they decided to cast elsewhere, and that has been frustrating. 

Branum's co-star in Bros Billy Eichner has also spoken out about the topic of straight people playing LGBTQ+ roles in Hollywood for a while. Last year he responded to Aaron Sorkin’s comments about representative casting, saying Sorkin was “ignorant” to how Hollywood has “treated its openly LGBTQ+ actors for a century.” So, the idea is not relegated to The Whale.

Along with the film’s representation, Branum also noted he had an issue with the movie's source material. He said: 

I think that the source material of The Whale is problematic. I think that it’s trying to use extreme fatness as a metaphor for gay pain. And as an actual fat gay person, I feel like my life doesn’t need to be a metaphor for somebody else’s pain.

While both Branum and Franzese have been critical of the flick and its casting, they both noted they were excited to see Fraser back on the big screen. When the movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival it received a standing ovation making the actor emotional. Fraser also won an acting award at the Toronto International Film Festival for The Whale and fans celebrated his performance on social media. 

As The Whale's gets closer to release on the 2022 movie schedule, it will be interesting to see how the conversation evolves around the decision to cast Fraser and the film's source material. You can catch The Whale in theaters on December 9, and watch Branum in Bros, in theaters now. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.