After a few years away from the spotlight, Brendan Fraser has had a rapturous comeback. His powerful performance in The Whale moved both critics and the general public, earning him accolades like the Critic's Choice award for Best Actor, which he tearfully accepted. Now, the actor is one step closer to the biggest recognition of them all—the Academy Award. The Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, January 24, and Fraser is one of the favorites to take home the prize for Best Actor. Grateful, the actor opened up about what this meant for him.
“I’m absolutely overjoyed and deeply grateful to the Academy for this recognition and for recognizing Hong Chau’s beautiful performance and Adrien Morot’s incredible makeup,” Fraser said in a statement. He graciously spread the love, saying, “I wouldn’t have this nomination without Darren Aronofsky, Samuel D. Hunter, A24 and the extraordinary cast and crew who gave me the gift of Charlie. A gift I certainly didn’t see coming, but it’s one that has profoundly changed my life. Thank you!”
Also in the Best Actor category are Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), and Bill Nighy (Living). Despite the list featuring some figures who have been Hollywood staples for some time, this is the first time in decades every contender in this category is a first-time Oscar nominee.
“Careers go up and down on a valley-and-peak trajectory, but I believe that it's always in the ascendancy,” Fraser told Entertainment Weekly. “What's important is that, either by design or accident, the amount of time it took for me to arrive at the place where I could faithfully play Charlie with the dignity, authenticity, and honesty that it demands, may not have been at my disposal had I not gone on that journey.”
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 12, 2023. In the meantime, Fraser is still nominated for a handful of prestigious trophies, including the British Academy of Film and Television Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Only time will tell if he arrives to the Oscars gala after sweeping a very moving awards season.
After being nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor, Brendan Fraser said being up for the award has “changed [his] life”.
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“I wouldn’t have this nomination without Darren Aronofsky, Samuel D. Hunter, A24 and the extraordinary cast and crew who gave me the gift of Charlie.”