James Corden Reveals He Almost Played One Of This Year's Most Hotly Tipped Oscars Roles

The Gavin & Stacey actor felt he was "too young to do it justice".
James Corden
James Corden
Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images

We’re still a few weeks away from the nominations for the upcoming Oscars being announced, but James Corden has revealed this year’s awards race could have looked very different.

The Gavin & Stacey creator has disclosed that he was at one point in the running to take the lead in one of this year’s hotly tipped Oscar films.

According to Pete Hammond’s column in Deadline, James revealed he almost played the main character in The Whale, which is released in the UK next month.

I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,” he apparently claimed, with the outlet reporting that the Late, Late Show host thinks he “may have been too young” to do the character justice.

Deadline also reported that George Clooney was also briefly involved in the production of The Whale.

George apparently stipulated that he wanted “an actual 600-pound unknown” to play the lead role, and eventually dropped out when “the complications of that were too much”.

Instead, the part went to Brendan Fraser, with Darren Aronofsky directing.

Brendan Fraser at a screening of The Whale last year
Brendan Fraser at a screening of The Whale last year
Taylor Hill via Getty Images

Although Brendan’s performance has largely been praised – receiving a Golden Globe nomination last month and plenty of Oscars buzz – the decision to cast him in the lead role was met with a backlash, as he portrayed the character using prosthetics, a “fat suit” and CGI technology.

Responding to this criticism, filmmaker Darren said: “Actors have been using makeup since the beginning of acting – that’s one of their tools.

“And the lengths we went to portray the realism of the make-up has never been done before.”

Brendan has also addressed the controversy about his casting, pointing out: “I’m not a small man. And I don’t know what the metric is to qualify to play the role. I only know that I had to give as honest a performance as I can.

“I’m hopeful that we can change some hearts and minds at least in terms of how we think and feel about those who live with obesity.

“So often, those people are dismissed in our society, or the object of scorn and derision, and it’s unfair to them. I believe that shaming people for that reason is almost the last domain of prejudice that we overlook, and I think we can do better to change that.”


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