Deadline reporter Pete Hammond was talking to James Corden during a Q&A session for his new Prime Video series, “Mammals,” where Corden mentioned his connection to Darren Aronofsky’s newest film. “I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,” he says. From Hammond’s reporting, things apparently fell through because Ford wanted complete creative control. Corden also said that George Clooney had gotten involved at one point, but only wanted to make the film if they cast an actual 600-pound unknown actor to play the lead. This certainly would have been a better option than the fat suit but in all fairness, at least “The Whale” tried to look realistic instead of some ridiculously cartoonish frame like in “Shallow Hal.”
Corden is no stranger to playing marginalized characters from communities he’s not a part of, so it’s unsurprising that he would have considered playing Charlie in “The Whale.” The king of Carpool Karaoke has been trying to take on more dramatic roles as of late, but given the timeline, he would have starred in the film a few years before “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” a job he might not have gotten if the world knew him most for “The Whale.”
The real jaw-dropper here though is learning Tom Ford almost directed the project. For those unfamiliar with his work, Ford got his start as a fashion designer and directed the film “Nocturnal Animals” which opens with a flurry of nude, fat women on exploitive display. Ford has defended the opening and called it “avant-garde,” which is officially my new favorite way to describe fat women without saying the word “fat,” following closely behind “zaftig.”
I’ve never been so thankful for Darren Aronofsky.