Mean Girls' Daniel Franzese is "very conflicted" over Brendan Fraser's casting in The Whale

  1. this is my question about most times when people feel like someone who “actually is (blank)” should play the role …

  2. There’s also the fact that the character starts around 200/250lbs— easier to make an actor look larger rather than smaller

  3. Probably. In very specific circumstances, hard to move, and their insurance will be... well, basically uninsurable, and if you want to have a speaking role in a HW production, you need to get insurance. A 600lb man can barely sit up, even if they're tall. You could make a point about a straight (presumably) actor playing a queer character, but the fat suit isn't a problem here.

  4. Isn't Brendan Fraser bigger than this guy though? And even if he got the role, a fat suit would still be needed. 600 pound actors don't grow on trees.

  5. THIS. I can see some of the criticism but Brendan isn’t a skinny actor at all. and also has struggled with a lot of body image issues related to his weight. he really is a good choice for the role even if he wasn’t AS heavy as the character he was playing.

  6. agreed. i think there are shows where this complaint is valid - like that Insatiable show with Debby Ryan a few years ago. but i don't see the issue here. they cast an overweight actor for this role, so it's not like a heavyset actor is losing out on one of the few roles available for fat people.

  7. You missed the part he’d also highlighted ‘overweight and queer’. Brendan Fraser is a straight man. It’s these intersectional lack of representation on screen that’s being highlighted in the article

  8. This is a reality a lot of people don’t want to accept. It’s always nice when someone takes a risk on a new talent, but if I’m financing a movie, in an age of endless blockbusters and crowded streaming space, I’m gonna go with the actor with 20 years of recognition. Most Mean Girls fans I know wouldn’t recognize the name Daniel Franzese

  9. right like rhats kinda ballsy of him to suggest lol…just cause he’s fat and queer doesn’t mean he can carry that role like someone like brendan could…like no offense bud but come on

  10. His issue is that Brendan Fraser is straight playing a gay man. Daniel Franzese is a gay actor. What he fails to understand is Brendan is just a better actor than him.

  11. I think it's way more "problematic" to make an actor purposefully gain 300+ pounds for a role, rather than just wear a fat suit. Why put someone's health in danger when they can just employ people to do the make-up and prosthetics. Even Christian Bale would balk at destroying his body like that, and that guy's insane when it comes for transformations for a role.

  12. Why would you use Bale as an example when he literally almost died from starvation when he lost like half his body weight for The Machinist? I think it’s because as a society we villanize fatness immediately. Like you used an actor as an example when HE DID THE SAME THING. But it’s ok if people get skinny? The health risks are equally threatening

  13. Nobody in acting is 600 pounds, why are people pretending that someone that overweight exists who can actually do a role like this

  14. I don't like this trend that thinks casting is like a reddit post - you just get people that look like the character, thats most important.

  15. Meritocracy does not exist in Hollywood. I’ll give you maybe 5 famous working actors who didn’t have a connection to the industry when they started. It would take way too long for me to list all the nepotism, you can google it if you’re interested in why a meritocracy is impossible in those conditions

  16. Exactly. As a dancer, I’ve had to learn that sometimes even when you think you’re a good fit for a role, it’s not what the director is looking for so you move on to the next opportunity. You’re not obliged to get a role just because you fit some of the criteria.

  17. Thank you. Also, how do you think this mean girls guy would react if he wasn’t allowed to play any straight roles? If straight actors shouldn’t play gay, then gay actors shouldn’t play straight, right? This argument cuts both ways and it’s stupid, acting is acting. The point is to portray people who aren’t the same as who you are in real life

  18. Yeah I was gonna say I kinda think, not having seen it obviously, the main reason it’s got buzz is because of Brendan Fraser’s current place in the cultural consciousness. If this was like…idk, Luke Wilson in a fat suit nobody would really be that interested I don’t think.

  19. If the story is showing a body transformation I don’t see how they get around using a fat suit. It would be irresponsible (or impossible) to ask someone to gain or lose that much weight. I remember when that show “This Is Us” started one of the lead actresses gave a bunch of interviews saying it was in her contract that she needed to

  20. What's funny is that same actress played a fat lady in an episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show. She had to wear a fat suit in order to look big enough to play a freak. I wonder if this guy was pissed off about that as well.

  21. His point and frustration are very valid but I think maybe this wasn’t a good example? Having not seen The Whale, my understanding is that part of the protagonists foil is that his weight is debilitating so even if he had played the role, some exaggeration of his stature would have been required,no? But like I said, he has a very valid point especially in the fact that he and other overweight queer actors probably didn’t even have the opportunity to read for this role & part of the reason for that was most likely because of their weight. BTW I thought he was hot as hell in the “Looking” movie

  22. It’s this. He has a good point worthy of discussion but the director apparently always intended this role to go to Brendan. Also I can imagine Daniel may get a little backlash just due to how protective our collective parasocial relationship with Brendan has become, I’m definitely guilty of a knee jerk reaction lol

  23. Yeah, I think he made points. I can be happy for Fraser while also acknowledging how discouraging it must be as a fat, gay actor to watch people shower a slightly overweight straight actor with accolades and awards for being "brave" enough to basically act out your life. When you don't even get the opportunity to read for the role (and even if you did, ironically, Hollywood homophobia and fatphobia mean you probably wouldn't get cast). That's garbage.

  24. This is understandable. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case didn't Aronofsky go straight to Brendan for this movie? So it's not the typical why was no one else auditioned situation. But, there probably would have been a fat suit no matter who was cast. That just leaves the queer part which will be debated until the end of time. And the issue of why Darren thought this specific part was the one that would ensure Brendan's comeback.

  25. Fraser hasn’t had his George of the Jungle body for a long time now. He also appears to be quite a big guy these days weight wise. I don’t think this is the same as the likes of Renee Zellweger putting on a fat suit for Brigit Jones 3 or Bale with his crazy body transformations for roles.

  26. I think a lot of people in this comment section are focusing on the fat suit and not the fact that queer roles are still going to straight actors when queer actors exist, and are just as talented.

  27. Exactly! Why is the sub being so dense about this? The complaint is entirely about queer actors. The last couple of paragraphs reflect it.

  28. The Frasier fanatics are out in swarms, highlighting the overweight aspect and completely missing the queer aspect. It’s extremely confusing.

  29. as much as i would like more queer actors to have opportunities to play queer roles i think that standard sets a precedent that actors must be open with their sexuality. basically i think it’s something we should encourage but not demand.

  30. Yes! All the top comments are about the fat suit. I feel like the point is more about the queer actor situation. Tbh I almost find it shocking when a straight actor is cast in a gay role at this point lol

  31. I’m sad I had to scroll so far to see this. I’m (un)surprised to see so many people focusing on the weight comment and not the large issue of queer actors getting passed over for roles or having to intentionally hide their sexuality. I know a lot of people are fan of Fraser but it feels like we’re missing the point here.

  32. I mentioned this in another thread but I think our (myself included) parasocial relationship with Brendan Fraser is an intense one and people are overlooking Daniel’s point because we must protect Brendan Fraser at all costs

  33. I guess my issue with this is- how does anyone know that Brendan Frazier is straight? We have no idea about another person’s sexuality or identity, really. I think sexuality can be so nuanced for people that it isn’t fair to make assumptions based on what we see. Yes, we see him with a woman but who’s to say that’s the truth to him.

  34. This is especially disappointing bc the script is written by a gay writer (iirc Samuel D Hunter is one) with a focus on queer experience. Casting a queer actor may add to its authenticity. But we got Aronofsky, who predictably cast a non-queer big name. A great opportunity was lost.

  35. This logic bothers me. Because that would also mean why cast someone in a role if they don’t have the correct accent. Bc there’s an actor with that accent that would be able to do it. Where is the line?

  36. Wild that people in this thread want to be fat phobic so badly they’re ignoring the point about casting queer actors to depict queer experiences entirely.

  37. I think that point is just a little more nuanced though because we shouldn't have to require actors to come out/reveal their sexuality in order to get roles. I 100% agree that folks are being fatphobic on this thread (and the sub in general. It's honestly exhausting some times) but as a queer person, while I get Franzese's point about queer representation, I don't know if I agree with it 100%

  38. Someone literally having their moment back in the public eye after having a traumatic experience happen, which lead to him being fucking blacklisted. But have we considered that an actor who hasn’t made anything worthwhile in 20 years is offended that he wasn’t considered for the role? Pathetic and self victimizing mindset, fucking christ.

  39. I’m sorry, this comment is super deranged. The issue of Hollywood casting straight people in roles for characters that are queer is a real issue. It’s not taking away from Brendan, but an actual thing that happens regularly and it’s a fair point. I have no idea why you’re taking it so personally on behalf of Brendan.

  40. I am extremely happy for Brendan and his success. There are few people in Hollywood that I think are deserving of a career renaissance, and he is one of them.

  41. Can everyone quit talking about the 600 pound point and talk about the fact that he’s also saying that they could’ve cast a queer actor who was overweight, not necessarily 600 pounds but still overweight. I get that they needed star power, but you also have to look at the fact that this is what Hollywood does, they cast cis straight white men in roles that should go to others. He actually makes a very good point, why not cast a queer actor in this role? And I agree with others at this movie sounds terrible and the entire premise sounds terrible, so maybe it’s fine that Brendan has it.

  42. Such a tired take. Brendan Fraser isn’t the biggest star anymore but he’s a known name that has led and opened movies in the past. This film isn’t getting financed with a complete unknown in the lead

  43. Listen, I like Brendan Fraser as much as the next person, but I think we all need to recognize that if this was *any* other actor, they would be dragged on this sub for taking this role. Brendan has accumulated a lot of good will here (rightly so, he's been through hell and seems like a sweet man), but folks are bending over backwards to justify a relatively thinner actor taking a role from obese actors (the #1 comment at the time I'm writing this is "are there actors that are 600 pounds" the answer is yes, but they don't have the same opportunities for prominent, meaty roles the way smaller actors do). I have no doubt that Brendan gave a great performance, but it's weird watching a large chunk of this sub go 180 on an issue just because it's a likable actor

  44. Something similar happened in the thread about black English actors being preferred over black American actors in Hollywood. A black American actress actually commented on it and was heavily downvoted. People were focusing on the idea that actors can act so it doesn't matter the background they have. While the entire crux of the issue was that black American actors are constantly overlooked.

  45. I understand where he's coming from but as it's been mentioned, if they actually cast a man who weight 600 lbs, he would be mocked and treated like a freak. I also doubt his time on set would be enjoyable.

  46. How else would you show progressive weight gain other than by using fatsuits of various sizes? It would be impossible to make an actor actually gain all that weight in time with the shooting schedule, not to mention that it would be extremely unhealthy. It seems these days people forget that the whole concept of ACTING is convincingly portraying someone that you are not.

  47. To be fair, this movie doesn’t show progressive weight gain. It takes place over the course of a couple of days with no flashbacks. We only ever see Fraser’s character is a 600 pound man. (I agree with your overall point tho.)

  48. There's plenty of documentaries. Hell, TLC has made a living off them. My 600lb Life, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, 1000lb Sisters, etc.

  49. Weight is sort of tricky because it's something that can drastically fluctuate for a single person. As others have mentioned, it's not like there are very many 600lb actors out there. Brendan Fraser himself is a bigger guy than he used to be, I wonder what would be the appropriate weight-range to look for? This in itself gets into iffy territory to me because I dislike the idea of having to pick apart an actor's personal weight and weight journey in order to play a role. I think it also puts bigger actors in a weird position of having added stigma around them losing weight. Would it still be ok for them to tell these stories, ones that are apart of their own history? I do think it's an interesting conversation to have, but would greatly caution against having an expectation of actors having to disclose their own personal weight journey. Something I think is much more important is to have people who've gone through similar experiences be involved in the behind the scenes production of these sorts of projects.

  50. They would've had to put a fat suit on Franzese too. Franzese is tall, and he's large but he's not morbidly (or at least not that morbidly) obese. Are there any actors in HW who are morbidly obese to the point of very restricted? Go google what a 600lb man looks like.

  51. I dislike the premise that for every body type/orientation etc there must be someone organically living that life who also has a tier, Hollywood film acting talent. Like it’s way easier to get Brendan Frazier, a talented actor and well known, to look fat than to just grab any random 600 pound actor and teach them to act like a 20+ year professional. It’s just against the whole nature of acting, the point is that you’re playing someone you aren’t in real life. This shit we are moving towards is bad for acting as an art. We’re pushing to a place where you can only play exactly the age/body type/sex/orientation/look that you were born with or else it’s some sort of -phobic

  52. Honestly Brendan Fraser is definitely fat by most people's standards, so I'm glad he got a leading role. Yeah, fat suits are less than ideal, but I really don't think there's a 600 pound actor out there who can play someone that big.

  53. Yeah, I'm just... tired of the usual arguments when it comes to fat actors. "It's not a good example" is the one I see most often, well I don't see people berate the industry half as much for forcing movie stars to undergo diets and training that are also extremely unhealthy. And like, fat people exist. Movies are not always meant to "give a good example", and they deserve to be represented like everyone else, in diverse roles just like everyone else.

  54. jesus, the intense fatphobia in this thread is so incredibly off putting. People here love to pretend that they're super woke but as soon as issue that doesn't affect them pops up, they immediately show their true colors. I doubt anyone here would be saying this if instead of obesity it was some other kind of disability (like CP), even though accommodating those other disabilities would have the same challenges (insurance, working hours, etc.). Extremely disappointed.

  55. Why are people here acting naive? He meant homosexual and obese. Most gay actors only get cast in comedic role or as sidekicks unless they are Kevin Spacey (do we consider him gay?) and he does have a point.

  56. How many 600lb gay actors with the necessary talent, in the right age range are there? Even Daniel would have had to wear a fat suit. If Brendan looked the way he did in George of the Jungle, then fine, but this is a bit of a stretch.

  57. I want to watch a movie, not a documentary. Why is it so hard for people to understand that you don't have to be the character to play it

  58. The fat suit is kind of a moot point IMO. Most actors aren’t going to weigh 600 lbs and to ask them to gain that amount of weight is detrimental to their health. However, I do sorta agree with him that’s it’s kinda messed up that big queer actors aren’t getting the role. I walk back and forth on the whole “do you need to be gay to play a gay role” because it involves forcing people out of the closet and to disclose their sexuality which is a whole can of worms. But if openly queer actors auditioned for the role and lost it to a straight person then that sucks.

  59. I get where Daniel Franzese is coming from. It’s hard to be an overweight actor and add being gay on top of it but the way he’s railing on this screams jealousy to me. The “why did I get to audition” thing just makes him sound petty.

  60. I know this thread ended up focusing on the size aspect of this, but here's a friendly reminder that requiring the casting of queer actors for queer roles only gets you out actors in queer roles.

  61. Happy for Brendan. Surely, they could have stacked the supporting cast with familiar faces, and featured an actual plus sized gay man in the leading role, fat suit and all.

  62. I mean, this character being gay isn’t the most important part of his story. He is an extremely self-loathing, self destructive, and deeply troubled, lonely character who experiences a range of very complex emotions throughout the piece.

  63. Fraser is like the same size as Franzese and was arguably bigger at the time he got cast. Yes, he's not queer, but I feel like when you start restricting actors based on stuff like that you cross a fine line. Then how is it okay to cast someone as a heroin addict who's never done heroin? How is it okay to cast a black man as a slave in a film if he never endured slavery? Race is the only one I can get behind, for live action at least, because it's very hard to transform someone into another race without leaning into caricature with the physical appearance. But a gay man could look like anything, and the portrayal of something like that should be adaptable by anyone.

  64. I'm not equiped to talk about the nuances of casting for fat characters or casting fat actors to play fatter characters but I am gay, and I can't get on board with fellow gay people co-opting discussions about casting that were started by POC, the disabled, and even trans people because we simply haven't been barred from work in Hollywood like they have! In fact I loathe that discourse with every fiber of my being.

  65. It’s completely understandable where he’s coming from. As a gay man, we should be given these opportunities to play parts of gay characters - just like how straights get to play straight characters. Should be a no brainer obviously. HOWEVER, this actor is 100% not in the same acting caliber as Fraser, of course he wasn’t going to read for this Oscar baited movie.

  66. Has he ever watched an Aronofsky movie! It's going to be super degrading! Like "only a queer man can truly portray a super self loathing 600 lb queer man with a demonic harpy daughter and a lover who also died from a super degrading eating disorder and also he's constantly jacking off and having mini heart attacks from being a HUMAN GARBAGE CAN" isn't the own you think it is.

  67. Does he thinks that he is as good as an Actor as BF and the only requirement for the part was being 600lb ? Like being 600lb is the whole character’s personality 🤔

  68. I'm a bit confused, is Daniel saying Brendan isn't queer? Has Brendan ever said he is or isn't queer? I'm not up to date with this film or Current Brendan so I don't know if he's even ever spoken on his sexuality.

  69. Darlene Cates, who played the mom in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, comes to mind. it was her first role and she received a lot of praise for it. she was one of the few actors in that weight range to rise to any prominence, due in large part to the fact that few opportunities for such actors exist.

  70. If it makes Brendan feel better, the movie has been panned as wildly fatphobic by multiple fat people. So he’s not missing out on the rep he think he is. Better opportunities may come, one hopes.

  71. Why are people downvoting this? It's true lol I follow Aubrey Gordon and Guy Branum on twitter, and they've both been very outspoken about this movie. Guy has a thread of excerpts of movie reviews and they're disgustingly fatphobic.

  72. One of the reasons people actually get interested in movies is to see transformation; people getting out of their comfort zone and adopting the identity of another person with different experiences. You can say what you want about representation, but "obese queer man plays obese queer man" is inherently less compelling and less risky than "non-obese straight man plays obese queer man".

  73. That’s why there’s the stereotype that significantly changing your appearance for a role will win you and Oscar. Get down to 80lbs like Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway and Christian bale. Fatten and ugly yourself up like Charlize Theron.

  74. except brendan IS an obese man?? and he probably weighs more than Daniel. Daniel would also have to wear a fat suit since he’s not 600lbs.

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