He went ahead to extend his gratitude to his castmates for the film and said it was about taking "a leap of faith."
Brendan Fraser's career is on the up after years in the wilderness and he hit a major milestone this week as he landed the best actor award for his performance in "The Whale" at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards. The actor delivered a moving speech while holding back tears, leaving the audience emotional. Fraser started off by thanking the Critic’s Choice Association. "It was Herman Melville who once wrote that ‘there are only five critics in America. The rest are asleep.’ I’m so glad you woke up for me," per The Hollywood Reporter. "I was in the wilderness and I probably should have left a trail of breadcrumbs, but you found me. And like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be,” he said on stage.
He joked, "Where were you for Furry Vengeance?" and made everyone laugh. The actor continued to share his admiration and gratitude for his fellow cast members and crew. He said, "This movie, "The Whale," is about love. It’s about redemption. It’s about … finding the light in a dark place And I’m so lucky to have worked with an ensemble that is incredible and includes Hong Chau, who should have her own movie based on every character she has ever played." He continued, "And Sadie Sink, I’ve been telling everyone she’s incredible. And Ty Simpkins, you won a game ball every day, and [writer] Sam Hunter, you’re my lighthouse."
Fraser plays Charlie, a 600-pound teacher who seeks to reconcile with his estranged adolescent daughter, Ellie (Sink), for one final chance at forgiveness in the film. He said at the end while holding back tears, "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."
Backstage, he was nearly speechless while discussing the film. The actor said his work meant "more than I know how to say with words." When asked what it meant to make the picture, he said it was, "an act of faith. We all approached this piece as if it would be the first and last time that we would ever have the privilege to be able to do this work ever again each day. And I think that this movie can help do a lot of good."
For his part in Aronofsky's film, Fraser has received nominations for best lead performance from the Gotham Awards and best actor from the Golden Globes, in addition to the Critics Choice Award. He is also a major contender for best actor at the Academy Awards. The 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards, hosted by Chelsea Handler, broadcast live on The CW on Sunday night from the Fairmont Century Plaza.
This awards season has been a season of emotional speeches as Ryan Murphy's acceptance speech left everyone emotional. Murphy won the lifetime achievement award for contributing to the TV business with creative programs including "Glee," "American Horror Story," "Pose" and most recently, "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story." However, he wanted to celebrate a special individual during his victory speech: MJ Rodriguez, who became the first transgender performer to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama TV Series for her work in "Pose" last year.
Brendan Fraser deserves all the good things that are happening for him and more. Dear sweet man pic.twitter.com/qiuKqXHdVz— Meech (@MediumSizeMeech) January 16, 2023
“We’re still here.”— Madman Films (@MadmanFilms) January 13, 2023
Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan reunite 30 years after starring together in ‘Encino Man.’
See Brendan Fraser’s incredible performance in The Whale in Australian cinemas February 2. pic.twitter.com/zJRmkf9ney