James Corden says he nearly starred in The Whale instead of Brendan Fraser
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James Corden has claimed that he almost starred in The Whale, the new film starring Brendan Fraser that has seen him talked about as a likely winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor. Here’s the trailer for the film – but be warned, it’s not exactly a comedy romp.
In the end, that part went to Sean Astin, who – I think we can all agree – made it his own.
Well, now Corden is at it again, as while promoting his new series Mammals, the host of The Late Late Show said that he nearly bagged the part in The Whale that was eventually taken up by Brendan Fraser.
You see, the original play on which the film is based – written by Samuel D. Hunter – was actually optioned by Darren Aronofsky around 10 years ago, but he wasn’t always supposed to direct the flick.
At one stage, it looked as if Tom Ford – of A Single Man fame – was set to take the reins for the project, and he’d wanted to give Corden the part instead.
Speaking with Deadline in support of his aforementioned Prime Video show, Corden said: “I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct.”
The English actor went on to say that Ford eventually decided against getting involved because he wasn’t going to be allowed the level of creative control that he wanted - which Aronofsky confirmed when asked by the interviewer about it.
Corden also said that George Clooney was also in the frame to direct the movie, although he declined in the end because he wanted to cast an unknown actor who actually weighed 600lbs in the starring role.
Incidentally, in case you’ve not heard, that’s what the film is about.
Fraser plays a huge man who is attempting to rekindle a relationship with his teenage daughter.
For his performance, The Mummy star has had to do things more physical than he ever has before, including marathon periods in make-up and prosthetics, never mind the weight of the suit he had to wear to present the image of someone that large.
Yes, he even ranks it higher in difficulty than his action roles from yesteryear.
Speaking in conversation with Freddie Prinze Jr. for Interview Magazine, Fraser said: “You can light me on fire, push me off camels, beat me up, throw me down, and I’ll get up, patch it up, and try it again until it doesn’t work anymore.
“But it felt like the hardest thing I’d ever done was playing Charlie in The Whale.”
Well, whatever he has done seems to have worked, because whilst the film has had a few mixed reviews, it received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival and Fraser is already being tipped for Oscar recognition.
The Whale is slated for release on February 3 2023.