After what has been called one of the most spectacular career comebacks in entertainment history, Brendan Fraser’s moving speech at the Critics’ Choice Awards brought us all to tears.
The 54-year-old actor was honored on Sunday night at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles for his function in the film The Whale, in which he plays Charlie, a morbidly obese English teacher who tries to get back in touch with his estranged adolescent daughter (played by Stranger Things star, Sadie Sink).
Fraser instantly started crying as his name was announced as the recipient of the prized award. He then walked up to the podium and gave one of the finest speeches of the evening.
The Journey to the Center of the Earth alumnus opened with the famous Herman Melville adage, “There are only five critics in America; the rest are asleep.” The audience laughed as he replied, “I don’t know what that means either, but I’m so grateful you woke up for me.”
“This movie, The Whale, is about love and about redemption,” he concluded. It’s about finding light in a dark place, and I’m so grateful to have collaborated with such an amazing group.
As he continued to mention his co-stars, Hong Chau was mentioned as someone who “should have her own movie based on every character she’s ever done.”
Fraser gave a shout-out to Sink as well, calling her “amazing” before asking, “Who are you?! Your gift is older than you are. I arrived here after 32 years of travel!
Sam Hunter was described as Fraser’s “lighthouse,” while Ty Simpkins “won the game ball every day,” according to Fraser.
He added that he “discovered” the movie’s director, Darren Aronofsky, to his list of credits.
I should have left a trail of breadcrumbs because I was in the woods, yet you found me. You just guided me where to go to get to where I needed to go, just like all the finest directors,” he remarked.
After giving his address, the 54-year-old delivered what was called a “strong message.”
“If you, like Charlie, the character I played in this film, suffer with weight in any manner or simply feel like you’re in a dark sea. I want you to know that if you have the courage to just get up and go to the light, then you, too, can do it.
“Favorable things will occur. He wished the crowd good night and thanked them.
Naturally, the audience cheered the speaker, and several stood to praise Fraser’s enthusiasm.
In order to win the coveted prize, Fraser bested a strong field that included Austin Butler for Elvis, Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick, Colin Farrell for his performance in The Banshees of Inisherin, Paul Mescal for Aftersun, and Bill Nighy for his part in Living.