‘The Whale’, the true story that inspires the Brendan Fraser film

    The Whale (The whale) is not a true story to use. Charlie, the character played by Brendan Fraser in Darren Aronofsky’s film, does not exist, but he is inspired by real-life episodes and, above all, by his screenwriter’s unhealthy relationship with food, back in the day as well creative writing teacher Although it is not an autobiography, the film is inspired by very specific moments in the life of its screenwriter, Samuel D. Hunter, who has adapted the play of the same name that he wrote in 2011. According to Hunter, both Charlie and his partner drink from experiences very specific details of his life, although he is by no means a biopoc. During the promotion of the film, Hunter has been revealing in interviews which parts of his life have come to The Whale.

    “[Cuando me senté a escribir] The Whale (The whale) was the first time I really thought: Well, I’m going to get into some pretty personal stuff from my life, and it’s going to be pretty raw, and I think it’s not exactly cool the way the character’s feelings are going to be so exposed. I grew up gay [en Moscú, en el norte de Idaho, en los años 90]. Although my family was not evangelical, I had a pretty rough time in elementary school. He was a fat kid, very socially awkward. [Mis padres] they took me to the only private school in the city, which happened to be an evangelical school. I really didn’t know anything about that kind of Christianity. [El caso es que] I grew up in the Episcopalian faith. But I remember, I think it was the first day [de colegio], the moment it occurred to me to mention the theory of evolution in class. I just remember that everything around me froze, and that the teacher looked down and didn’t answer, and then went on with the class,” Hunter has told in an exciting interview.


    “In the first year of high school, the father of the senior pastor of the school gave me a pamphlet that was about how I had to let Christ into my heart. In my head I thought: well i’m a christian so yeah i should listen i should. I remember him telling me that he might be able to hear Jesus speaking directly to me. And I tried, but I kept thinking: Why can’t I hear Jesus? It’s not happening, what am I doing wrong? […] I already knew at that point that I was gay, but I was so young that I thought: this can probably go away i just need to pray not think about the other guys and i just have to ask god to change me. And, of course, it didn’t work no matter how hard I tried. And I really tried… At a certain point, I thought, this is not going to change. And I realized that there was a part of me that they were never going to be able to accept. [en ese entorno religioso fundamentalista]”Hunter has revealed.

    “I ended up telling a friend of mine [del colegio] that he was gay And about a year later he got together with a couple of other guys from the school and they went to talk to the school administration… and I had to tell my parents and it was a disaster. I ended up dropping out of college and switching to a public school. At that moment I thought: I’m better, now I’m fine. I’ve come out of the closet, everything will be fine. I have left that behind. But I hadn’t fixed it correctly. So when I got to college, it got harder and harder to handle, and I fell into a depression. I started self-medicating with food, which is something I also did as a kid. Little by little I was able to find support systems and therapy. And then I found my husband, whom I met in 2005 and have been with ever since. It was a great support for me,” continues the writer.

    “I came to New York thinking: Here I am. But he was still a very young person and hadn’t properly processed everything that had happened in the previous years. Because I hadn’t, and I was always an overweight kid, but in college things got pretty bad. She felt she didn’t fit in at all with the NYU gay community because she didn’t fit their prescribed ideas of beauty. I did well in college, and I worked hard, but I was isolated. I spent a lot of time in my apartment self-medicating with food and getting quite fat. I was able to find an off-ramp, the biggest off-ramp was when I met my husband in 2005. I had that love and support, and also the love and support of my parents, so I was able, for many years. and lots of therapy sessions, I work my way out of it. The Whale It was a personal reckoning for me,” Hunter told another interview.

    “When I started writing The Whale thought: What if this is the story of someone who didn’t find that off ramp that I found and has no choice but to stay in my hometown? And that is largely what gave rise to the work. That and the fact that at the time I was teaching creative writing to first-year college students.”

    Hunter has also commented that there is part of his life in Charlie’s late partner. “It’s like I’m taking parts of myself and distributing them in different ways, which I think I’ve done a lot with my characters over the years. Nothing I’ve written is directly autobiographical, but it always feels a bit like autofiction. It’s a way for me, I hope, to write things that are useful to people. Because if there’s something that I’m actively struggling with or have actively struggled with, chances are other people in the world have as well. done or have had similar experiences and can authenticate that experience through the lens of their own struggles.

    And the small town in Idaho where the movie takes place? “It doesn’t have a name, but it’s definitely set in Moscow, the name of the city I grew up in. I never name it in my writing, because I don’t want people to think there’s a layer that’s definitely not there. There are little Moscow details though. in the movie…”.

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    It is precisely this connection of the author with his work that caught the attention of the director of the film. According to Aronofsky: “What I like best about The Whale it is that it invites you to see the humanity of characters who are neither good nor bad, but rather live in those gray tones in which ordinary people live; characters who have a deep and intricate inner life. They have all made mistakes, but they share a huge heart and the desire to love others, even when others seem unable to love. It is a story that asks us a simple and at the same time essential question: can we save each other? It’s a very important question right now, especially now that we’re turning our backs on each other more than ever.”

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‘The Whale’, the true story that inspires the Brendan Fraser film

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