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James Corden claims he was ‘The Whale’ before Brendan Fraser

James Corden has claimed he almost starred in “The Whale” before Brendan Fraser landed his Golden Globe-nominated role.

The “Cats” star was originally set to play Charlie in Darren Aronofsky’s film — when it was set to be helmed by another filmmaker.

“I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,” Corden told Deadline during a Q&A panel for his Q&A for his new series “Mammals” on Amazon Prime.

“The Late Late Show” host also shared that it didn’t happen because Ford wanted more control of the film.

But Corden, 44, also believed he was “too young” to do the complex part justice compared to 54-year-old Fraser.

The acclaimed film follows a 600-pound English teacher named Charlie (Fraser) who suffers from morbid obesity and is struggling to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, played by “Stranger Things” star Sadie Sink.

James Corden
James Corden claims he almost landed the role of Charlie in “The Whale.”
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

The comedian and actor also revealed that George Clooney was tied to the project at one point as well, but only wanted to participate if they could find an actor who was actually 600 pounds to play the role.

Fraser donned a fat suit for the role, which sparked criticism from critics and claims of “fatphobia.”

Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser as Charlie in “The Whale.”

His transformation sparked backlash during previews in the fall — and Aronofsky defended the use of the fat suit, saying the controversy “makes no sense.”

Meanwhile, Deadline critic Pete Hammond said he verified Corden’s story: “When I talked with Aronofsky recently I casually asked him about what Corden told me and he confirmed all of it.”

Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in “The Whale.”
Taylor Hill/WireImage

Fraser ended up being nominated for a Golden Globe in December for his performance — though he has vowed not to attend the ceremony organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after claims that its former president allegedly sexually assaulted him in 2003. 

The film marked Fraser’s career comeback to Hollywood after stepping away due to depression. His performance received several standing ovations at film festivals, including in VeniceLondon and Toronto. 

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