Actor Brenda Fraser is creating awards season buzz after the premiere of his new movie, The Whale, at the Venice Film Festival yesterday.
The movie, in which Fraser plays an obese, 600lb, gay man seeking to reconnect with his daughter, went down well with its audience. In fact, they gave it a six-minute standing ovation at the Sala Grande.
Fraser and director Darren Aronofsky were in attendance for the screening and took the stage. Variety says Fraser “sobbed throughout the six-minute standing ovation.”
An emotional Brendan Fraser during the 6 minute standing ovation for The Whale at the 79th Venice Film Festival.
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The Whale is based on a 2012 play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter. Stranger Things star Sadie Sink plays the part of Fraser’s 17-year-old daughter. Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins also have roles.
Fraser, 53, shot to fame in the 1990s in movies such as George of The Jungle and The Mummy. However, he all but disappeared from Hollywood in the last decade. He has previously spoken about battling depression and being sexually assaulted by a senior figure within Hollywood.
What the critics are saying about Brendan Fraser
Yesterday’s premiere screening of The Whale has earned Fraser some of the best reviews of his career.
Deadline’s Damon Wise wrote that Fraser’s “all-in performance… makes adjectives such as ‘brave’ and ‘fearless’ seem almost meaningless” and said The Whale is “cutting the line to put a never-better Brendan Fraser at the front of the Best Actor race.”
Writing in Variety, Owen Gleiberman says in this role, “Fraser is a better actor — slyer, subtler, more haunting — than he has ever been.”
Fraser donned prosthetics for the role. He told reporters at the premiere, “By far and away I think Charlie is the most heroic man I have ever played. His superpower is to see the good in others and bring that out of them.”
The Whale hits theaters in the US on December 9.