Even if he doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Actor, Brendan Fraser will leave the 95th Academy Awards a winner. Brendan, 54, appeared at the Mar. 12 event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, alongside his girlfriend, Jeanne Moore. Brendon, who is nominated for his role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, walked the red carpet alongside his better half ahead of the ceremony, basking in the adulation and the photographers’ flashing camera lights. Jeanne looked glamorous in her royal blue gown, while Brendan cut a classy figure in a sharp tuxedo.
Heading into the awards show season, there was buzz over Brendan’s performance in The Whale, making him a contender for the Best Actor prized. However, that edge has waned, with Austin Butler taking the BAFTA and Golden Globe for the title role in Elvis. Brendan did get his chance to shine at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards, when his peers picked him for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Lead Role. The win came after he took Best Actor at the 2023 Critics Choice awards.
“I was in the wilderness — and I probably should’ve left a trail of breadcrumbs — but you found me, and like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get me where I needed to be,” Brendan told director Darren Aronofsky. “If you — 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.”
The Whale marks a return to the mainstream for Fraser. In 2018, he spoke with GQ, during which he alleged that Philip Berk, the then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, sexually assaulted him at a Golden Globes Awards luncheon in 2003. The alleged assault, his 2007 divorce from Afton Smith, lingering health issues, the death of his mother, and other issues led Brendan to pause his career for a few years. However, he didn’t quit, as he continued to act in movies and series, most notably in Doom Patrol and in films like Hair Brained, Stand Off, and Pawn Shop Chronicles.
Brendan, when speaking with Zach Baron again for GQ in 2022, said that people often say “welcome back” to him. “‘Good that you’re back. I’m glad to see you back.’ And I say thank you. And some of them even go, ‘We’ve missed you. Where have you been?’ You know, like almost letting me know that I disappointed them. And the first thing out of my mouth is, ‘I was never that far away.’”
“[My] hope is that I can be recognized at this time in my life and career for my professional efforts, rather than the trope of the comeback kid as being a standard in culture, sports, coming from behind, being written off, and then coming back,” Brendan said to GQ.
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