Image Source: Getty / Kevin Winter
Brendan Fraser couldn’t hold back the tears as he accepted the 2023 SAG Award for best leading actor in a film for his role in “The Whale” on Feb. 26.
After Fraser was handed the award, he joked around as he looked at the trophy itself, a statue of an actor. “This is good, a sort of naked man making up his mind to smile or to frown,” he joked. “You know, like an actor.” “I will treasure this,” he continued, pointing to the statue. “But never more than what I treasured that I used to keep in my wallet, which was my SAG card that I earned in 1991. It made me feel like I belonged. We’re actors, we all want to feel like we belong to a tribe. And that’s where I found that I belonged.”
“If you told that guy back then that I’d be standing here right here, right now, I would not have believed you,” he continued. He then thanked “The Whale” director Darren Aronofsky, screenwriter and playwright Samuel D. Hunter, and his castmates Sadie Sink, Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins, and Hong Chau; Chau was also nominated on Sunday night.
“I never would have believed that I would have been offered the role of my life in this character Charlie in ‘The Whale,'” the “The Mummy” star continued. “He’s someone who is on a raft of regrets, but he’s on a sea of hope, and I’ve been at that sea, and I’ve rode that wave lately, and it’s been powerful and good. And I’ve also had that wave drag me down to the ocean floor and dragged my face along there and wind[ed] up on some strange beach in a different world wondering where am I now.”
“I just want you to know, for real, all the actors out there who’ve gone through that, who are going through that, I know how you feel, but believe me, if you just stay in there and put one foot in front of the other, you’ll get to where you need to go. Have courage,” he said. Fraser has been open about his battle with depression in the past and disappeared out of the Hollywood spotlight for some time.
What an inspiration. Thank you, Brendan! #SAGAwards pic.twitter.com/6bgVi7LZ33
— SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) February 27, 2023
“Without the love of my children, Griffin, Holden, and Leland; and their supermom, Afton; and my badass agent, Joanne Colonna; and the clarion call that is my girl, Jeanne, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this,” he said. He thanked the audience again and added of the statue, “I’m gonna go find this guy some pants now.”
Fraser’s date for the night was his girlfriend, Jeanne Moore, whom he was first publicly linked to in 2022.
This award season, Fraser also won best actor at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards for his role in “The Whale.” In two weeks, he’ll face off against Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, and Bill Nighy for the Oscar.