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The Whale Could Have Starred James Corden Instead of Brendan Fraser

The Whale Could Have Starred James Corden Instead of Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser and James Corden

The late-night comedian explained that at one point, he was being considered for Fraser's Oscar-buzzed role.


Brendan Fraser has been getting a lot of awards season love for his portrayal of a 600-pound gay man trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter while grieving for his partner in The Whale, but James Corden could have played the role.

The comedian revealed that he was up for the part at one point.

"I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct," he said, but Ford wanted to be afforded more control over the project, which never happened, Deadlinereports. Corden added that he was probably too young to perform the role well.

While promoting his new Prime Video series, Mammals, Corden also told Deadline that George Clooney had flirted with becoming involved with the project at one point but had stipulated that an actual 600-pound actor could be found to play the role, but because of the challenges in casting such an unknown actor, he passed on it.

Fraser plays the character while wearing a controversial fat suit and prosthetics to complete the role's look.

In the film, Fraser plays Charlie, a depressed, gay, morbidly obese man living alone somewhere in Idaho. Struggling to get around and imprisoned in his home by his body, Charlie teaches online writing classes while living in an unclean apartment with his camera never on. His partner died by suicide, and now Charlie is declining in health over the continued grief.

Appearing on an episode of theHappy Sad Confusedpodcast, Corden admitted that he agreed to more roles than he should have in the past.

"I said yes to, essentially, almost everything because I love acting. I love working with directors and being a member of a cast. I like being a member of a cast more than I like hosting a show on my own," the Late Late Show host, who is departing the show this year, said.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities. Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations. The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at or text START to 678678.

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