Brendan Fraser won Best Actor at the Critics Choice Awards for his work on The Whale and delivered one of the most emotional speeches of the night.
Fraser started crying when his name was announced as the winner and when he took the stage he cited that Herman Melville “once wrote that there are only five critics in America, the rest are asleep.” Although the actor said he didn’t know exactly what that meant he said he was “glad [the critics] woke up for me.”
He continued, “This movie, The Whale, it’s about love, it’s about redemption. It’s about finding the light in a dark place and I’m so lucky to have worked with an ensemble that is incredible.
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Fraser went on to recognize his costars naming Hong Chau, saying that they “should have her own movie based on every character she’s ever played.” Sadie Sink also got a shoutout, noting she was “incredible.” Fraser called Sam Hunter his “lighthouse” and said that Ty Simpkins “won the game ball every day.”
“Darren Aronofsky, I was in the wilderness, and I probably should have left a trail of breadcrumbs, but you’ve found me,” he added. “And like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be.”
Fraser closed his speech by sharing a powerful message saying, “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.”
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When the actor went backstage he said the award meant “more than I know how to say with words” adding that making the film was “an act of faith. We all approached this piece as if it were the first and last time we would ever have a chance to do this kind of work…I think that this movie can help do a lot of good.”