Brendan Fraser’s relationship with his autistic son allowed him to connect with his character in ‘The Whale’

Brendan Fraser’s relationship with his 20-year-old son Griffin helped him prepare for his role in “The Whale.”

Fraser shares three sons with his ex-wife Afton Smith. His oldest son, Griffin, is autistic and “lives with obesity,” the actor revealed during a conversation with Freddie Prinze Jr. published by Interview.

The “Titans” star explained that his relationship with his son helped him to identify what would be valuable and important to his character, Charlie.

“I have three kids of my own,” Fraser told Prinze Jr. “My oldest son Griffin has special needs. He’s autistic. He just turned 20. He’s a big kid. He’s six foot five. 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 photographed with his ex-wife Afton Smith and two of their sons – Holden and Griffin.

Brendan Fraser photographed with his ex-wife Afton Smith and two of their sons – Holden and Griffin.
(Getty Images)


"The Whale" will be released on Dec. 9.

“The Whale” will be released on Dec. 9.
(Getty Images)

“And because of the beauty of his spectrum – call it a disorder if you will, I disagree with you – he knows nothing of irony. He doesn’t know what cynicism is. You can’t insult him. He can’t insult you,” he further explained. “He’s the happiest person and is, in my life and many others’, also the manifestation of love. 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, I didn’t have to look far.”

Fraser returned to the silver screen again for what many believe could be an Oscar contending role as Charlie, a 600-pound gay man who feels as though his life is coming to an end.

The actor revealed he does not have any expectations when it comes to winning an award for his role.

“I’d like to think carefully, with gratitude, and without expectation,” he told the outlet. “Because really, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and I don’t feel like I have something to prove.”

“Either it’s for you or it’s not. Either way, it’ll be okay. And insofar as awards and the cumulative effect of that goes, I’m pretty new to this, so I’m learning as I go along and I’m grateful for the affirmation. It feels good. I’ve always had a problem with the aspect of the business that positions artists against one another as competitors, but we rate things by human nature. And even how it’s rated and all the semantics, I can’t pretend to understand it because the truth is no one knows – wild-card things happen all the time. But it is good work if you can get it. I hope I never lose sight of that.”

The role represents a major comeback for Fraser’s career, as it is his first leading role in almost a decade. “The Mummy” star has roles this year in Martin Scorsese’s latest western film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and with Dawn Olivieri and Marcia Cross in “Behind the Curtain of Night.”

Brendan Fraser is currently dating Jeanne Moore.

Brendan Fraser is currently dating Jeanne Moore.
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI)


Fraser has largely stayed out of the spotlight after addressing physical ailments due to performing many of his own stunts on screen. The actor has also been outspoken about his struggle with depression after an alleged sexual assault incident that happened in 2003.

In 2018, Fraser claimed that he was sexually assaulted by the former Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Philip Berk almost 20 years ago. The actor also alleged that the incident contributed to the downfall of his career.

“[I] became depressed,” he told GQ at the time. “I was blaming myself and I was miserable — because I was saying, ‘This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel.’ [Work] withered on the vine for me. In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me.”

Berk denied the allegations, although he wrote about the incident in his 2014 memoir claiming he pinched Fraser’s backside “in jest.”

Fraser showed gratitude for “the warm reception” he has received since discussing his latest work, in a previous interview with The New York Times.

“I’m looking forward to how this film makes a deep impression on everyone as much as it has on me,” he told the outlet.

Brendan Fraser transforms into a 600-pound man in "The Whale."

Brendan Fraser transforms into a 600-pound man in “The Whale.”
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI)


Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report.

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