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Darren Aronofsky Is Adapting Samuel D. Hunter's "THE WHALE" For Film

Alex Kulak2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/11/16
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/11/16

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Darren-Aronofsky-is-Adapting-Samuel-D-Hunters-THE-WHALE-for-the-Big-Screen-20210111

 

The Whale is one of the most emotionally devastating plays I've ever read, and I can't think of a better director to translate it to film than Darren Aronofsky.

Charley Kringas Inc Profile Photo
Charley Kringas Inc
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Broadway Star | Joined: 8/12/11
Why are we still having disabled characters played by non-disabled people?
Alex Kulak2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/11/16
Broadway Legend | Joined: 9/11/16

I don't know too many 600 pound actors, do you?

Charley Kringas Inc Profile Photo
Charley Kringas Inc
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Broadway Star | Joined: 8/12/11
Well, I don't work in casting for Hollywood, do you?
Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

Alex Kulak2 said: "I don't know too many 600 pound actors, do you?"

HAHAHAHAHAHA. The BEST comment in response to such a DUMB comment. Love. 

Charley Kringas Inc Profile Photo
Charley Kringas Inc
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Broadway Star | Joined: 8/12/11
Also, the play is essentially exploitative misery porn akin to a TLC special - much of it is spent watching the main character struggle to do "normal" things. Fat suits are demeaning. I'm not sure why "we couldn't find a disabled actor, so here's someone pretending to be disabled" is still so widespread.
Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

Totally. They looked far and wide for a morbidly obese 600 pound actor that is healthy enough to work six days a week but sadly stuck out! 

Charley Kringas Inc Profile Photo
Charley Kringas Inc
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Broadway Star | Joined: 8/12/11
What an incredibly gross attitude.
Sutton Ross Profile Photo
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13
MysteriousLady
Swing
joined:10/24/20
Swing | Joined: 10/24/20

Charley Kringas Inc said: "Well, I don't work in casting for Hollywood, do you?"

I don't work in casting, either. I don't need to to know that there are no big name actors capable of securing funding for a major film that are 600 pounds. 

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blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/28/05

MysteriousLady said: "Charley Kringas Inc said: "Well, I don't work in casting for Hollywood, do you?"

I don't work in casting, either. I don't need to to know that there are no big name actors capable of securing funding for a major film that are 600 pounds.
"

That's narrow minded. Cast the big names around the performer with the disability then.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/9/04
Finding someone 600lbs is unlikely. Finding someone well over 300 who has some understanding of the disabilities created by being obese, who can then deliver a more authentic performance? Realistic. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

This Is Us has made a star of the wonderful Chrissy Metz...
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
jo
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joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/15/03
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Wee Thomas2
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joined:2/28/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/28/12

Great show that we saw in and again in Boston.  Never thought it had broad enough appeal to be turned into a film but we are looking forward to seeing what they do with it

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BroadwayNYC2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/16/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/16/13
I keep reading this as “Darren Afronsky is Adapting THE WIZ for film” and you know what, sure
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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/6/12

I agree completely with iluvtheatertrash and Blaxx. This is an A24 film, meaning they are aiming for a more indie crowd anyway, but they also know how to market prestige films without big stars. And as Blaxx pointed out, they can still cast stars in other roles. Plus, do we really think that Brendan Fraser, of all people, is the big bankable star that this role needs? And as far as acting is concerned: do we really think there's no obese people in the US who could act the role better than him? He's not exactly Daniel Day-Lewis. Plus, recent movies like Nomadland and the 40-Year-Old Version have shown that a strong director can coax fantastic performances out of people who have never acted before. 

And like all issues of representation in casting: this isn't just about what's offensive or not, it's also about the fact that fat people face an incredible amount of discrimination in this industry. It's very rare to see a fat person in a dramatic leading role, and so when opportunities like this come along, casting someone like Brendan Fraser is like a slap in the face to fat actors. And going back to iluvtheatertrash's point, it's not even like the actor would necessarily have to actually be 600 pounds themselves. 

 

Updated On: 1/12/21 at 11:36 AM
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

Love Brendan, we will be wonderful in the role! 

SouthernCakes
Broadway Legend
joined:7/29/19
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/29/19
I’m confused at what people are even arguing? It’s acting. Let the actors act. If you want a real life depiction go to Walmart. I want to see damn good actors act. I really hate this idea of “you haven’t lived it so you can’t portray it.” It’s harmful for the arts.
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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/6/12

What part of this argument are you confused about? The age-old "acting is acting" excuse is a straw-man's argument that has been addressed time and time again, year after year, thread after thread. Rebuttals have already been written in this thread, by me and others. 

It's not "if you haven't lived it, you can't portray it." That's a blanket statement that no one is actually advocating for. Another straw-man. But there are SOME marginalized groups that simply cannot be played respectfully or authentically by people of other groups.

Now, I'll admit - I don't necessarily know if I'd say that obese people are one of these groups (I'm open to hear arguments either way). However, that's not the only thing that's at play here. There's also the issue of jobs for actors within those marginalized groups, which I discussed in detail in my last post (please see above). Every time I hear the "acting is acting" complaint, it's from people who seem to conveniently ignore this pivotal side of the argument.

Also, I'd love to hear an example of how this mentality has actually harmed the arts in real life. And even if it has harmed the arts, is that a more pressing issue than advocating for respect and job availability for marginalized people? 

 

ViniFromBrazil
Understudy
joined:1/26/16
Understudy | Joined: 1/26/16
omg you guys find ways to fight in every damn post, don't you
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Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/20/13

If you want a real life depiction go to Walmart.

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA. Perfection. 

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blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/28/05

ViniFromBrazil said: "omg you guys find ways to fight in every damn post, don't you"

Now imagine how marginalized performers feel like.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
LightsOut90
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/14
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/2/14

yep so many 600 pound actors who won't get their big break now

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JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend | Joined: 4/6/12

LightsOut90 said: "yep so many 600 pound actors who won't get their big break now"

 

This point has already been addressed. 

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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/5/09
Not that it’s quite the same but Fraser has dealt with issues of immobility being an invalid before due to some debilitating injuries he sustained in his early years as an action movie star. Those, plus his sexual victimization at the hands of a studio executive, are two major reasons he disappeared from the scene for so long.