“He’s somewhat of a time traveler,” says Brendan Fraser about playing James Fletcher Chace in the FX drama series “Trust.” Chace is a former CIA agent who works as a fixer for oil magnate J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland). In that capacity he travels to Italy to investigate the 1973 kidnapping of Getty’s teenage grandson and heir J. Paul Getty III (Harris Dickinson), but Chace also serves a larger function in the story, periodically breaking the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience. He has the ability to “describe time as a sommelier would describe wine. He’s a connoisseur of sorts about what has happened in our world.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Fraser above.
Initially Fraser was in talks to play the role of Getty’s son, J. Paul Getty Jr., which ended up going to Michael Esper. But producer and director Danny Boyle offered Fraser the role of Chace instead, and “my heart leaped for joy. I thought that was spoken for by someone far cooler than I could ever aspire to be because it’s such a great part.”
Not that much is known about Chace in terms of his biographical history, but “there was a lot to work with” in building the character. “That he was a Stetson-wearing Texan was something that our writer Simon Beaufoy made quite clear,” says Fraser. “It seems Chace had a hat for almost every occasion.” And he’s also the “moral conscience” of the story, especially when compared to the miserly Getty patriarch he works for.
And there’s “something thrilling” about the relationship Chace forms with the viewer by addressing them directly. It’s a storytelling device “as old if not older then Shakespeare,” whether it’s a character “speaking in soliloquy or a Greek chorus telling its audience exactly what is going on.” Stepping out of the story to comment on the story gives Chace a “magical realistic element.” That meant “there was a lot to wrap my arms around with this role and I relished the opportunity.”
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