For years now, former Hollywood megastar Brendan Fraser has been forced away from the limelight. Following an incident with Philip Berk, the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association back in 2003, Fraser left the industry. His allegation of Berk groping him fell on deaf ears, and while Berk apologized in writing, he never admitted what he did.
This combined with missing out on a large role in Superman forced Fraser into self-imposed exile. He was no longer comfortable with Hollywood and felt like he no longer measured up. With the HFPA blackballing him from their awards, he didn’t do much work until 2018. Even then, it was minor work compared to his previous years of blockbusters.
Now, with “The Whale,” Fraser is back, and he cemented that return when he attended Critics Choice. Nominated for and then winning Best Actor, his performance is one of misery and pain, and his ability to draw on his own life experiences made everyone stand up and take notice. For those who were still ignoring him, they were forced to notice his acceptance speech.
“It was Herman Melville who once wrote that there are only five critics in America – the rest are asleep. I don’t know what it means, either, but I’m sure glad you woke up for me… 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.”
This is likely to be just one of many speeches he will be giving for this role. While other films like “Maverick,” “Aftersun,” and “Living” all had their main characters nominated as well, the performance from Fraser could not be ignored. For many who are now parents themselves, his resurgence as an actor could not have come at a better time. He was a part of their childhoods that they now get to share with these kids, as well as explore his new work.