Looking for Robb Report UK? Click here to visit our UK site.

Brendan Fraser Caps His Comeback With the Oscar for Best Actor

The actor earned the award for his first headlining role in a major film in more than a decade.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Brendan Fraser attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images) Getty Images

In a development that few people would have seen coming a few years back, Brendan Fraser is an Oscar winner.

The 54-year-old star won the Oscar for Best Actor for his starring role in The Whale at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night. The top prize capped off what has been a wildly successful award season for Fraser, who walked away with three major trophies.

In the Darren Aronofsky–directed drama, Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound gay man desperately trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, Ellie (played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink). Reviews of the film, which is based the Samuel D. Hunter’s 2012 play of the same name, may have been mixed, but acclaim for Fraser was anything but. The performance has been praised even by the movie’s detractors and garnered star nominations for nearly every major acting award, including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. In addition to his Oscar, Fraser also won the Best Actor prize at the Critic’s Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“I started in this business 30 years ago, things didn’t come easy to me but there was a facility that I didn’t appreciate at the time, until it stopped,” Fraser said during his emotional acceptance speech. “I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgment. It couldn’t be done without my cast. It’s been like I’ve been on a diving expedition and the air on the line to the surface is being watched over by some people in my life like my sons.”

Brendan Fraser in "The Whale"
Brendan Fraser as Charlie in ‘The Whale’ A24

Almost as impressive as Fraser’s performance is the fact that this was the actor’s first big role in well over a decade. Despite being one of Hollywood’s more bankable stars during the late ‘90s and early ‘00s—a period in which he starred in popcorn fare such as the Mummy trilogy, George of the Jungle and Bedazzled—Fraser hadn’t headlined a major movie since 2010. This was due to a variety of factors, including personal issues, health problems, and the fallout from an alleged sexual assault by Philip Berk, the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Fraser’s time away from the spotlight helped inspire him to show the rest of Hollywood what it was missing and resulted in what will surely come to be viewed as a career-defining performance. “I was all-in,” the actor told Variety last fall. “If I’m not approaching each day’s work as if it’s the first and last time I ever act, then I’m not the man for the job. With this movie, everything I had to offer is everything that you see on the screen.”

Don’t expect Fraser to retreat from the cameras following his triumph. The actor has racked up a number of TV roles as part of his comeback, including in HBO Max’s cult favorite Doom Patrol. He’s also set to appear in Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese’s upcoming adaption of author David Grann’s book of the same name.

Read More On:

More News