Brendan Fraser was one of the most popular actors of the 1990s. Appearing in fan favorites such as Encino Man, George of the Jungle, and The Mummy, the beloved actor fell out of the spotlight. His love for his craft never abandoned him, though. His luck turned when he landed the lead role in Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, and now the spotlight is on him once again. He delivered a powerful performance that captivated audiences upon the film's release. His compelling work has just recently led him to win the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor. Keeping up with a momentum of memorable and moving speeches, like that of Ke Huy Quan at the Golden Globes, Fraser gave some tearful remarks when accepting the trophy.
“It was Herman Melville who once wrote that there are only five critics in America—the rest are asleep. I don’t know what it means, either, but I’m sure glad you woke up for me,” he began. “Where were you for ‘Furry Vengeance'?” he continued, referencing his 2010 comedy film that has an abysmal 7% from film critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
While the movie has spurred some controversies about the depiction of its protagonist, Fraser chose to highlight the positive elements of the story. “This movie, The Whale, is about love. It’s about redemption. It’s about finding the light in a dark place,” Fraser explained in his speech. He then thanked his co-stars, Hong Chau and Sadie Sink. “Your talent precedes your years. It took me 32 years to get here,” he said to the latter.
The actor then thanked Aronofsky for the opportunity, which transcends this one role. “Darren Aronofsky, I was in the wilderness, and I probably should have left a trail of breadcrumbs, but you’ve found me,” he said, as his voice began to break. “And like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be.”
Fraser wrapped his speech through tears, leaving the room with an uplifting message. “If you, like a guy like Charlie, who I played in this movie, in any way, struggle with obesity, or you just feel like you’re in a dark sea… I want you to know that if you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen.”
Actor Brendan Fraser gave a tearful and moving speech after winning the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor.
Brendan Fraser’s emotional acceptance speech at the #CriticsChoiceAwards
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) January 16, 2023