Brendan Fraser’s return to Hollywood’s A-list is all but confirmed following his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. Fraser received a standing ovation from the audience after the film’s premiere at the Venice film festival. Brendan’s performance was so good that some critics say it has Oscar-winning potential. 

Fraser plays Charlie, a gay man who abandons his family for his partner. Unfortunately, Charlie’s partner dies, sending his mental health into a downward spiral. Charlie deals with depression by overeating, which leads to morbid obesity and several health problems. On the brink of death, Charlie tries to reconnect with a daughter he deserted. 

Brendan Fraser plays a gay character but is straight in real life

Brendan Fraser isn’t gay. As far as we know, Fraser has only dated women and is currently in a relationship with Brenda Moore. The couple announced their relationship by appearing together at the Venice film festival. Fraser was previously married to actress Afton Smith, with whom he shares three sons: Griffin, Holden, and Leland. 

Darren Aronofsky said he considered every movie star on the planet, but in his eyes, none was suited to Charlie’s role. Fortuitously, he came across a trailer for a low-budget movie Fraser starred in called Journey to the End of the Night. Aronofsky said (per Variety):

“A lightbulb went off. I hadn’t seen Gods and Monsters or George of the Jungle. Seeing him in there, it just clicked. I asked Brendan to come meet me… it just kept clicking.”

However, some members of the gay community weren’t impressed with Aronofksy casting a straight man to portray a gay character. Some critics wondered why the filmmakers couldn’t cast a fat, gay actor to play the role. 

Daniel Franzese, a fat and gay actor, told TMZ that ‘gay bigger people are invisible’ in the industry. “There are a lot of shows right now showing queer stuff, but they just don’t sexualize bigger gay men,” he added. 

Fraser accused Philip Berk, an ex-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, of sexual assault

In a February 2018 interview with GQ, Fraser accused Philip Berk of sexually assaulting him at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2003. “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint,” Fraser said. “And he starts moving it around.”

Berk wrote in his memoir With Signs and Wonders that he pinched Fraser’s behind as a joke. However, Fraser refuted Berk’s assertion, saying fear engulfed him, and he had to forcefully remove Berk’s hand. 

“I felt ill,” Fraser said. “I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.” Fraser told his ex-wife Afton Smith but didn’t publicize the assault because he ‘didn’t want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative.’

Berk said he apologized to Fraser after the actor’s reps asked the HFPA for an apology. However, Berk stated he admitted no wrongdoing. “Mr. Fraser’s version is a total fabrication,” Philip said in an email to GQ

Fraser said he believed part of the reason his career derailed was his allegation against Berk. For instance, the HFPA rarely invited him to the Golden Globes after 2003. “There’s many reasons, but was this one of them? I think it was,” Fraser said.

Fraser drew courage to speak up from the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. He continued:

“Am I still frightened? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely. Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely. Maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was. I just know what my truth is.”