Playing Oliver Hardy, the large comic with the even larger persona, was a burden that became a mission for John C. Reilly.

Reilly told The Associated Press it was a “terrifying prospect” to accept the role in “Stan & Ollie” that earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

The film, which stars Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, will be released in the U.S. Friday.

Reilly’s research made him feel a special connection to Hardy and insisted the fat suit he wore actually be heavy to feel real. He says “it was a lot every day to carry” and eventually regretting doing it.

And when Reilly learned the legendary comedy duo was largely forgotten late in their lives, he felt he had to preserve their memory and “do it for Oliver.”

In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo John C. Reilly, poses for a portrait at the Adelaide Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo John C. Reilly, poses for a portrait at the Adelaide Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo John C. Reilly, poses for a portrait at the Adelaide Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo John C. Reilly, poses for a portrait at the Adelaide Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo John C. Reilly, poses for a portrait at the Adelaide Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo John C. Reilly, poses for a portrait at the Adelaide Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, left, and John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy in a scene from
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, left, and John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy in a scene from “Stan & Ollie. (Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

Source: The Associated Press