The Academy got one right during it’s 95th
It truly warms my heart that (in my humble opine) one wonderful man won an academy award and made a comeback that rivals Frank Sinatra’s back in 1954. He never stopped acting. Even when blacklisted, he kept doing what he always did. “Doom Patrol” is on HBO Max. So is “No Sudden Move”. “Trust” is on Hulu. It took a confluence of a role, the right actor and a masterful duo of director and screenwriter to put it all together for “The Whale”.
What personally made me happy, even giddy, is this guy went the extra mile with his research. He went to the #OAC (the Obesity Action Coalition) and interviewed fat people for his role in his movie. How did the obese feel? How did they cope? How did they deal with having to constantly apologize for being large? The answers were stunning. Some were waiting to have gastric bypasses. Some needed to have surgical revisions. Many were incredibly large and confined to their homes. The reality was morbid obesity is a disease. Whether genetics play a role, if food addiction plays a part as food equals heroin, it is a disease. (Ninety Three Million Americans are obese in the US.)
As a member of the #OAC, I could certainly relate. I am a fat person. An obese woman. My endocrinologist suggested I join the Obesity Action Coalition around four years ago, as I was already supporting the Lymphedema Treatment Act (#LTA). My doctor supports the group and works with people like me, uncovering my lymphedema and later lipedema, a disease of the obese where fat cells, the size of rice kernels, become embedded under the skin and live there, and cannot burn like calories. We (sic) are stuck with them.
So, this guy, this actor, he goes the extra mile. He wants to make a difference for people who are obese. Now, he is no light weight, gaining weight probably close to 275–300 pounds for this role, then packed in a 300 pound fat suit every day during filming was shown to be extremely difficult. And so he became “The Whale”. And did much more than win an Oscar. He decided to keep in contact with the Obesity Action Coalition and some of the people he met and spoke with. He urged people during interviews in various talk shows to reach out for help. There was nothing to be ashamed of. He also commented during press junkets that he felt he made a dent, and that it was so rewarding to be involved with the #OAC. I felt surely he was giving us the high visibility we would never dream of having. We could take a walk with our beautiful faces in the sun!
Thank you, Brendan Fraser. You deserved the Oscar more than anyone this year, in so many ways.
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