Actor wins prize for performance as a reclusive, morbidly obese teacher in the drama directed by Darren Aronofsky
Brendan Fraser has won the best actor Oscar for The Whale at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Fraser stars as a morbidly obese teacher in the film, which was directed by Darren Aronofsky and adapted by Samuel D Hunter from his own play. Fraser defeated a field of contenders including Elvis’s Austin Butler and The Banshees of Inisherin’s Colin Farrell.
The role has already won Fraser best actor at the Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice awards, and best actor nominations for the Baftas and Golden Globes (for film drama). Fraser chose not to attend the latter, after alleging in 2018 that the Golden Globes former president Philip Berk sexually assaulted him in 2003. Berk called the allegation “a total fabrication”. An internal investigation concluded that Berk had “inappropriately touched” Fraser, but said Berk’s action “was intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance”.
An emotional Fraser took to the stage exclaiming: “So this is what the multiverse looks like!”
He paid tribute to the film’s director, Darren Aronofsky, and writer Samuel Hunter, saying: “You laid your whale-sized hearts bare so we could see into your souls.”
He closed his speech touching on his early years in the industry. “I started in this business 30 years ago,” he said. “Things didn’t come easily to me but there was a facility I didn’t appreciate at the time until it stopped.”
He finished by thanking his three sons and his “first mate”, partner Jeanne Moore.