James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The Whale

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James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The Whale
James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The Whale

James Corden was originally meant to play the lead role in the controversial new film The Whale, he has revealed.

The film ended up starring Brendan Fraser, but the talk show host has revealed that he narrowly missed out on the part.

James, 44, has told how he was all set to star in the Darren Aronofsky directed film, if it was directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, who flirted with the project.

That didn’t happen because Ford wanted more complete control of the project, Corden claimed.

The comedian told Deadline that Hollywood megastar George Clooney was also attached to the project at one point.

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James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The WhaleBrendan Fraser has undertaken the starring role in critically acclaimed movie The Whale (The Whale)

“I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,” he revealed.

James also told the publication how he thought he might have been too young to play the role to “do it justice”, with the film’s star Brendan being 54.

The publication went on to report that George Clooney was, at one point, “involved” in the movie project, “but only wanted to make the film if an actual 600-pound unknown could be found to play the lead role”.

This did not happen, and Fraser ended up controversially donning a fat suit for the role.

According to the publication director Darren Aronofsky confirmed that James Corden had been linked to the role.

James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The WhaleOne-time Hollywood heartthrob Brendan Fraser transformed into a 42 stone man but he wasn't always intended for the role (The Whale)
James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The WhaleJames Corden was originally meant to play the lead role in the controversial new film The Whale (E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty I)

The film, which has been branded Brendan’s comeback and could see him nominated for a string of awards, sees an obese English teacher called Charlie trying to connect to his teenage daughter.

Aronofsky recently responded to criticism of Fraser’s casting as a gay man. He was also forced to address the use of a fatsuit in an interview with Variety.

The acclaimed director claimed he and casting directors couldn’t find an obese actor who “could pull off the emotions of the role”.

“There was a chapter in the making of this film where we tried to research actors with obesity,” Aronofsky told the publication.

He went on: “Outside of not being able to find an actor who could pull off the emotions of the role, it just becomes a crazy chase. Like, if you can’t find a 600-pound actor, is a 300-pound actor or 400-pound actor enough?”

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James Corden almost played Brendan Fraser’s controversial role in The WhaleThe film has been branded Brendan’s comeback and could see him nominated for a string of awards (Protozoa Pictures)

Aronofsky told how there were also concerns from a “health perspective” that an obese actor would struggle to keep up with the demands of filming.

“It’s an impossible role to fill with a real person dealing with those issues,” Aronofsky said.

Aronofsky explained that he “just needed the right actor for the role” and that it’s “amazing to see how people respond” to Fraser on screen.

“I think they’re going to be impressed by how the same actor who played all those honest, innocent characters back then is portraying this complicated, messed-up person,” he said.

Lucy Domachowski

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