Entertainment Movies 'The Whale' Star Brendan Fraser Felt 'Sense of Vertigo' Removing 600 Ibs.-Man Prosthetic Suit "I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way," Brendan Fraser said of playing a 600 lbs. man in The Whale, which premiered Sunday at the Venice International Film Festival By Tommy McArdle Tommy McArdle Twitter Tommy McArdle is a digital news writer at PEOPLE covering stories across all of the brand's verticals. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Tommy covered the entertainment industry at Looper and sports at The Sporting News and Boston.com. He graduated from Emerson College in 2019. People Editorial Guidelines and Glenn Garner Glenn Garner Instagram Twitter Glenn Garner is a Writer/Reporter who works heavily with PEOPLE's Movies and TV verticals. Since graduating from Northern Arizona University with a dual major in journalism and photography, he got his professional start at OUT Magazine, The Advocate and Teen Vogue, and he's since consistently kept his finger on the pulse of the LGBTQ community. His first book The Guncle Guide was released in 2020 and was featured on Katie Couric's list of 100 recommended books of the year. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 4, 2022 01:30 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Brendan Fraser learned from the physical challenges presented by his latest role. Fraser, 53, detailed the "undulating feeling" of starring as Charlie in Darren Aronofsky's The Whale — for which he underwent a physical transformation to play the 600 lbs. man — as he spoke to media at the Venice International Film Festival on Sunday. "I think it's poetic that the trauma he carries is manifest in the physical weight of his body," he said ahead of the film's premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way. I developed muscles I did not know that I had. I even felt a sense of vertigo, when at the end of the day all the appliances were removed, just as you would feel stepping off the boat onto the dock here in Venice — that undulating feeling." Sachyn Mital/Shutterstock See Brendan Fraser as a 600-lb. Reclusive Man in First Photo from The Whale Movie "And I say this because he gave me an appreciation for those whose bodies are similar because I learned that you need to be an incredibly strong person physically and mentally to inhabit that physical being. And I think that is Charlie, also," Fraser added. For more on the 2022 Venice Film Festival, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. On Wednesday, Fraser told Vanity Fair he took on the project after seeking a role that would help him learn "what I was capable of." Brendan Fraser in The Whale (2022). Courtesy of A24 Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "If there's no risk, then why bother?" he said. "I want to learn from the people I'm working with at this point in my career. I've had such variety, a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I'm keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I'm contributing to the craft, and I'm learning from it. "This is a prime opportunity. I wanted to disappear into it. My hope was that I would become unrecognizable," Fraser added. Aronofsky, 53, told Vanity Fair that Fraser carried between 50 and 300 extra pounds during filming, depending on the contents of each scene. The movie takes place entirely within his character's home over the course of five days, according to the outlet. In July, A24 released the first photo of Fraser as Charlie, a reclusive writing instructor who struggles to reconnect with his teenage daughter, played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink. RELATED VIDEO: Regé-Jean Page Attends the 79th Venice International Film Festival The Whale marks Fraser's first leading role since 2013's Breakout, according to Variety. He had a role in last year's No Sudden Move, plus recent TV stints on shows like Doom Patrol, The Affair and Trust. Fraser was expected to play the villain in the HBO Max Batgirl movie before it was reported in August that the film was shelved indefinitely. Samuel D. Hunter wrote the screenplay based on his play of the same name. The 2012 production debuted off-Broadway to acclaim from The New York Times, and it won a Drama Desk Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding play and a GLAAD Media Award. "Adapting my play into a screenplay has been a real labor of love for me," Hunter told Deadline last year. "This story is deeply personal, and I'm very thankful it will have the chance to reach a wider audience." The Whale premieres Dec. 9 in theaters.