For his role as Charlie in The Whale, Brendan Fraser took home the Oscar for best actor at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Fraser was a prominent actor in the 90s and early 00s, starring in blockbuster films like George of the Jungle (1997) and The Mummy trilogy (1999-2008).

He starred in fewer films from the late 00s to 10s due to health issues and news that broke out of an alleged sexual assault committed against him in 2003 by Philip Berk, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the time.

However, he experienced a career resurgence when Steven Soderbergh cast him in No Sudden Move (2021) and Darren Aronofsky threw a “creative lifeline” to him in the form of a leading role in The Whale.

In The Whale, Fraser plays a 600-pound English teacher who attempts to save his relationship with his estranged daughter (Sadie Sink). It reportedly took 10 years for Aronofsky to cast an actor to play Charlie. He said in an interview with Variety that the issue was about finding someone who would be the “reason to make the movie.”

Fraser got emotional during his acceptance speech: “I started in this business 30 years ago, things didn’t come easy to me, but there was a facility that I didn’t appreciate at the time until it stopped. I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgment. It couldn’t be done without my cast.”

The other nominees in the best actor category included Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Bill Nighy (Living).

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