Brendan Fraser’s return to Hollywood is well underway, and The Whale director Darren Aronofsky has heaped praise on the much-loved actor for his performance. Because of this, some have already proclaimed Fraser to be the front-runner for Best Actor at this year’s Oscars. Despite the adulation, the actor has faced some backlash because he wore a fat suit to impersonate the drama’s main character. Recently, a lot of well-known celebrities have spoken out on the subject, and now Fraser is responding to the criticisms he has received.

Many people contend that Darren Aronofsky should have chosen to cast an actor who was genuinely closer in size to the film’s major role, Charlie, who is meant to weigh 600 pounds, when it came to The Whale. In an interview with Newsweek, Brendan Fraser addressed the issue. The actor did so while making a reference to one component of the conversation and his own body:

I’m not a small man. And I don’t know what the metric is to qualify to play the role. I only know that I had to give as honest a performance as I can.

It appears from his remarks that the former Mummy actor is unsure of the ideal choice for such a role. He also makes it clear that he wanted to present a true-to-life performance for the play. The actor has now gotten a TIFF Award and other accolades, so it would appear that strategy was successful. That praise, however, doesn’t exactly allay the genuine sentiments that some people have expressed.

former cast member of Mean Girls One person who has spoken their opinions on the subject is Daniel Franzese. The singer expressed support for Brendan Fraser on his comeback, although he did wonder why a bigger actor couldn’t have taken the part rather than someone who would have to wear a fat suit. Also a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Fraser’s character could have been played by a queer actor, according to Franzese. Guy Branum, the star of the Bros and a supporter of Fraser at this time in his career, urged filmmakers to think about “how much we are expressing queer life and obese life through straight actors or prosthetics.”

In an interview with Newsweek, Darren Aronofsky—who has a close relationship with Brendan Fraser—discussed the criticism. With this, the director claims that it would have been challenging to select an actor for this particular character who didn’t appear to be wearing any kind of prosthetics to pull off the performance:

There’s no way you can cast someone to play this job, so we had to use makeup to get there. Most of the people that are playing critique have not seen the film. So I welcome everyone to see the film because the film is about bringing empathy to characters that you don’t expect to feel for.

How the general public will respond to Brendan Fraser and Darren Aronofsky’s view of the situation will only become clear with time. We’ll simply have to wait and see how Fraser performs when the movie debuts in theaters on December 9 as part of the forthcoming film calendar.