The Whale Star Brendan Fraser Feels He Owes it to Himself to Campaign for an Oscar

Beloved actor Brendan Fraser has stated that he will campaign for an Oscar, with the star of The Mummy currently a favorite to take home the Best Actor award for his performance in The Whale. Now, speaking with GQ, Fraser says he feels he owes it to both himself and the filmmakers behind The Whale to put himself forward and hopefully take home a golden statue.

“I owe it to myself. I owe it to the filmmakers. I know I owe it to those fans who paid to come and see me and stand in line in the sun and, you know, all of that. I owe it to my kids. This is my shot.”

The Whale is a major part of Brendan Fraser’s re-emergence, the now dubbed Brenaissance, with the actor having received all manner of applause, awards, and standing ovations for his central performance as a 600 lb middle-aged man named Charlie, who is trying desperately to reconnect with his seventeen-year-old daughter. Fraser has already received the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance at the Toronto International Film Festival and the American Riviera Award at the 38th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The actor is now the odds-on favorite to emerge victorious at the next Academy Awards.

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Fraser has described the overwhelmingly positive response to his lead performance as “affirming,” saying, “It felt so affirming…I was emotional because it was acknowledgment that what we did is making an impact. And that kind of response feels completely new in my professional life.”

Based on the 2012 play by Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale will find Brendan Fraser leading the latest outing from Darren Aronofsky as Charlie, a 600-pound middle-aged man who tries to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter. The two have grown apart after Charlie abandoned his family for his gay lover, who later died, which led to Charlie binge-eating out of pain and guilt.

Early The Whale Reviews Have Heaped Praise on Brendan Fraser

A24

The Whale had its premiere during the 79th Venice International Film Festival back in September, and reviews since have heaped praise on Brendan Fraser’s performance. “It’s a testament to Fraser’s incredibly soulful portrayal of Charlie that the make-up elements — notably his thinning hair, doughy face and bloated body — become almost invisible once the initial shock of seeing Dudley Do-Right in such terrible shape has passed,” said Deadline’s Damon Wise of The Whale. “But it’s also a mark of Aronofsky’s acuity as director that Charlie never becomes at all freakish or monstrous…”

“Fraser, so good, takes what could be a joke, a flat tragedy, or even a lecture about weight and imbues it with gorgeous humanity,” adds Johnny Oleksinski of The New York Post.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky and written by Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale stars Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, and Ty Simpkins alongside Brendan Fraser, with Stranger Things star Sadie Sink starring as Ellie, Charlie’s daughter.

The Whale is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on December 9, 2022, by A24.