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26th Feb 2023

Brendan Fraser breaks down in acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for his performance in The Whale

Steve Hopkins

‘Those of you know who might also feel lost at sea, you deserve to go and seek the luck that you deserve’

Brendan Fraser’s awards run continues as he was awarded ‘Best Actor’ at the 6th Annual Hollywood Critics Association (HCA) for his role in The Whale on Friday, in what was an emotional experience for the star.

The 54-year-old has been lauded by critics for his performance in the movie where he plays a reclusive, morbidly obese English teacher attempting to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. He was awarded the ‘Best Actor’ gong at the Critics Choice awards last month.

The Whale highlights Fraser’s character, Charlie, as he puts on weight through guilt-induced binge eating, having left his family for a gay lover who later died.

The role, in what critics are saying is Fraser’s best work to date, and the anchor performance of his comeback – he’s only worked on three films since 2014 – Fraser has to wear an elaborate prosthetic suit in order to appear like a 600lb man

Taking to the stage to receive the HCA award at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the 54-year-old spoke about how lucky he is to make movies for a living, while referencing his character Charlie, who didn’t have the best of luck.

“Charlie, he’s one of those guys. Luck has eluded him. Some of it his fault, most of it is not,” Fraser told the audience.

“He’s trapped, he’s in he’s in an ocean of regret, he grapples with illness, he’s lonely and his time’s running short.

“He just wants to do one good thing with his life, one good thing.


“And I think that’s a lot of us, we want our lives to be meaningful, we want to know the feeling of being lucky, to be the hero, to conquer that white whale.

“It’s hard to get there, believe me, I know.”

Ending his speech on a positive note, Fraser noted that at the end of the film, Charlie’s luck does change “and he finds courage to take that one important step forward and that changes the course of his life, his luck is redeemed”.

The Mummy star continued: “And I’m telling you with every inch of my whale sized heart, I wish the very same for anyone of you or those of you know who might also feel lost at sea, you deserve to go and seek the luck that you deserve.

“There’s a beautiful life waiting for you to embrace, take that step towards the light.”

Friday’s awards saw Fraser beat strong competition including Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick).

Fraser has earned nominations for Best Actor at the 80th Golden Globe Awards and Best Actor In A Leading Role at the 76th British Academy Film Awards, both of which ended up going to Austin Butler for his role in Elvis.

However, he still has pending nominations for Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role at the 29th Screen Actors Guild Awards, that will be held this evening.

He has also managed to score a Best Actor nom at the 95th Academy Awards, which will be held March 12.

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