An emotional Brendan Fraser won his first Oscar for The Whale, thanking director Darren Aronofsky “for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale.”
Fighting back tears, Fraser credited the other actors in the category by saying “gentlemen, you laid your whale-size hearts bare so that we could see into your souls like no one else could do and it is my honor to be named along side of you in this category.” He also singled out co-star Hong Chau by saying, “I want to tell you that only whales can swim at [her] depth of the talent.”
'The Whale' Star Brendan Fraser On Why His Oscar-Nominated Role Was Worth The Wait: "I Didn't Have The Life Experience"
“I started in this business 30 years ago and things didn’t come easily to me,” Fraser said. “There was a facility that I didn’t appreciate at the time, until it stopped. And I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgement because it couldn’t be done without my cast. It’s been like a diving expedition on the bottom of the ocean and the air in the line to the surface is on a launch being watched over by some people in my life.” He then went on to credit his family, especially his “best mate” wife.
“Thank you again, each one and all,” he said. “I’m so grateful to you.”
Before The Whale, Fraser mostly starred in physical comedies like Encino Man and George of the Jungle before landing the part of hero Rick O’Connell in The Mummy series. Though he received acclaim in 1998 for Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters, Hollywood mostly overlooked Fraser’s abilities. He still found regular work in ensemble TV series like The Affair and Doom Patrol.
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