With Brendan Fraser taking home the Best Actor Oscar for his critically lauded performance in The Whale, 2023 has proven to be the year of the “Brenaissance” in film. After international acclaim for his moving performance as a 600-pound recluse, Fraser, 54, defeated Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, and Bill Nighy in the Best Actor in a Leading Performance category at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12.
He entered the platform while crying and exclaimed, ““So this is what the multiverse looks like! “I thank the academy for this honor. Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale.” Speaking to his fellow best actor candidates, he remarked that performers “lay their whale-sized hearts bare,” and that it was a “honor” to be included in this category with them.”
An Iconic Role to Play
The psychological drama directed by Darren Aronofsky depicts an overweight guy named Charlie as he attempts to rekindle his relationship with his adolescent daughter. Other notable cast members include Sadie Sink of Stranger Things, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, and Ty Simpkins. The father had previously abandoned his family to live with his gay lover, who passed away. The father’s sadness and guilt over this loss led to a cycle of binge eating. Viewers hailed Fraser’s moving performance as his best role to date after the movie’s release.
With a complex mix of prosthetics, CGI, and makeup, Fraser’s physical metamorphosis for The Whale was no small task. Fraser discussed the physical aspects of the character’s creation while making an appearance at GalaxyCon Raleigh the previous year. With his prosthetics apparently weighing up to 300 pounds, Fraser would reportedly spend hours every day getting ready to shoot scenes as Charlie. He even had to take dance lessons to learn how the character would have moved while carrying that much weight. Fraser was ideal for the part, the director Aronofsky previously told Variety.