"He's a big kid, he's 6-foot-5. He's got big hands and feet, a big body. I understand intimately what it is to be close to a person who lives with obesity"
Brendan Fraser didn't have to look very far to find a connection to his character in Darren Aronofsky's "The Whale."
While speaking to Interview magazine, the 53-year-old actor shared that he drew inspiration for his new film by reflecting on his experiences living with his son Griffin, 20, who is on the autism spectrum.
In the movie Fraser takes on the role of a reclusive, 600-pound writing instructor struggling to reconnect with his estranged daughter while also suffering from a compulsive eating disorder. The movie is based on the 2012 Samuel D. Hunter play of the same name, with Hunter also developing the screenplay.
"He just turned 20. He's a big kid, he's 6-foot-5. He's got big hands and feet, a big body. I understand intimately what it is to be close to a person who lives with obesity," Fraser explained.
"The Mummy" star said that Griffin is the happiest person he's ever met and called him "the manifestation of love."
"Because of the beauty of his spectrum — call it a disorder if you will, I disagree with you — he knows nothing of irony," Fraser continued. "He doesn’t know what cynicism is. You can't insult him. He can't insult you. He's the happiest person and is, in my life and many others', also the manifestation of love."
Griffin is the oldest of the children he shares with his ex-wife Afton Smith. He is also father to his sons Holden, 18, and Leland, 16.
"Being with my kids and their mom and our family has given me such love that if ever I needed to hold something of value up to try and translate that to what was important to Charlie [character in 'The Whale'], I didn't have to look far," he gushed.
Fraser has received critical acclaim for his performance in "The Whale." When the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in September, the actor received a six-minute standing ovation that moved him to tears.
"The Whale" -- which also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins -- hits theaters on December 9.