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Brendan Fraser won best actor at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday night, thanking his The Whale director Darren Aronofsky for throwing him “a creative lifeline.”
“So this is what the multiverse looks like!” Fraser said when he got to the stage to accept his award. “I’m grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale. … It couldn’t be done without my cast. It’s been like a diving expedition on the bottom of the ocean and the air on the line to the surface is on a launch being watched over by some people in my life.”
Directed by Aronofsky and written by Samuel D. Hunter (based on his 2012 play of the same name), The Whale follows Charlie (Fraser), a gay man living with severe obesity who tries to rekindle his relationship with his estranged daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink).
Previous Oscar winners Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain presented both the best actress and best actor awards. Fraser also acknowledged his fellow nominees, Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Bill Nighy (Living) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun), as well as his co-star Hong Chau, who was nominated in the best supporting actress category.
Backstage, the emotional winner said, “Going to make a film with this gravity just reinforced how important it is to perform as if it is the first and last time you ever will.”
See the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.
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