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Brendan Fraser gets emotional as fans give him a standing ovation for his role in 'The Whale'

It was challenging for Brendan Fraser to play the character with severe obesity in 'The Whale' but he found 'appreciation for those whose bodies are similar.'

Brendan Fraser gets emotional as fans give him a standing ovation for his role in 'The Whale'
Director Darren Aronofsky and Brendan Fraser at the 79th Venice International Film Festival for the world premiere of "The Whale". (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Following his long hiatus from acting, Brendan Fraser has been touched by fans excited for what they're calling the "Brenaissance," the return of the actor to the big screen. The actor is beloved by fans for his emotional range and his honesty. At the Sunday night world premiere of "The Whale" at the Venice Film Festival, Fraser received a six-minute standing ovation, which left the actor moved. As credits rolled for Darren Aronofsky's film, the "Crash" actor, overwhelmed with emotions, sobbed throughout amid the thunderous applause.



 

 

A video of the standing ovation shows an endearing Fraser being unable to register this much praise and support for him. He was sitting to congratulate the director, but Aronofsky pushed him to rise and appreciate the audience's heartfelt applause. When he did, the crowd erupted in applause. Fraser shed tears being pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic response to his performance. Many fans of the actor tweeted "Let the Brenaissance begin!" in response to the cute video. During the film's heartbreaking final scenes, many others in the theatre also pulled out a handkerchief. 



 

 

Fraser hugged director Darren Aronofsky "many times during the ovation" and was hailed with greater acclaim as he sought to exit the auditorium. This pushed him to stay in there for a while longer, per Variety. "The Whale," adapted from Samuel D. Hunter's play of the same name, stars Fraser as a gay man living with severe obesity and struggling to reconcile with his 17-year-old daughter, played by "Stranger Things" standout Sadie Sink. Prior to his return, Fraser had taken a step back from showbiz after speaking out about the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sexually assaulting him at a Beverly Hills dinner in 2003. Fraser believed that dwindling Hollywood roles were because of blacklisting.



 

 

Fraser told The Hollywood Reporter that his character in "The Whale" is the "most heroic man" he's ever played. Describing the project as challenging, he said that the character's "superpower is to see the good in others and bring that out in them. And in that process, he’s on his journey of salvation.” Fraser wore a prosthetic suit to play the role in the film, which added anywhere from 50 to 300 pounds, which Fraser revealed to be "cumbersome, not exactly comfortable." He said, "I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way. I developed muscles I did not know I had."

He added that after all the appliances were taken off at the end of the day, to him it felt "undulating" like "stepping off the dock onto a boat in Venice." Speaking of the realizations he went through while working on his character he said, "It gave me appreciation for those whose bodies are similar. You need to be an incredibly strong person, mentally and physically, to inhabit that physical being.”



 

 

"The Whale" marks Fraser's first main role since 2013's "Breakout." Fraser was set to play the villain in the HBO Max "Batgirl" film before it was announced in August that it had been postponed indefinitely.

Fraser's stunts in some of his prominent action film work have resulted in several surgeries, including a partial knee replacement, two laminectomies and treatment on his vocal cords. Fraser has described the first seven years of the century as being spent repeatedly visiting hospitals, per GQ.



 

 

If the premiere Sunday night is any indicator, Brendan Fraser's efforts seem to have paid off. According to Variety, his performance will certainly propel him to the front of this year's Oscar competition for best actor. 

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