LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: It was a great Sunday night, March 12, for Brendan Fraser, who won his first ever Oscar. The star’s role in ‘The Whale’ won him the Best Actor in a Leading Role award at the Los Angeles event. His victory was widely hailed, but there was a time when Fraser was completely in the limelight.
The 54-year-old was an idol in the late 90s and early 00s, but then disappeared. According to reports, it was not the ‘The Mummy’ actor’s decision to flee the industry. He accused the entertainment industry of ostracizing him after speaking out about the sexual abuse against him. The star has previously alleged that Philip Berk, ex-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), behaved inappropriately with him in 2003.
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‘I felt sick’
Fraser went into painful detail about the alleged incident during an interview five years ago. “His left hand reaches out, grabs my buttocks and one of his fingers touches me in the filth. And he starts to move it. I felt sick. I felt like a little child. I felt like I had a lump in my throat. I thought I was going to cry. I felt like someone threw invisible paint on me,” he told GQ in 2018.
Brendan Fraser attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Fraser also shared at the time that the alleged incident “made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive,” before adding, “I don’t know if this curry disgrace with the band, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening. However, Berk denied the “Bedazzled” actor’s claims and claimed, “His career has declined through no fault of our own.”
Apart from that, Fraser also had to face some personal setbacks. He suffered from health problems, divorced his ex-wife Afton Smith and his mother Carol Fraser died. But with the recent victory, his star seems to be on the rise again. In his acceptance speech, the father-of-three said: “I am grateful to Darren Aronofsky for giving me a creative lifeline and carrying me aboard the good ship ‘The Whale’.”
Brendan Fraser, winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role for ‘The Whale,’ poses in the press room during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images )
“It’s an honor to be nominated”
“This was written by Samuel D Hunter who is our beacon. Gentleman, you bared your whale-sized hearts so that we could see into your souls like no one else could. It is an honor for me to be nominated alongside you in this category. I want to tell you that only whales can swim to the depth of Hong Chau’s talent [fellow nominee],” he noted.
(LR) Leland Fraser, Brendan Fraser, winner of the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘The Whale,’ and Holden Fraser pose in the press room during the 95th annual Academy Awards at Ovation Hollywood on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, Calif. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Fraser added: “I started in this business 30 years ago, things weren’t easy for me, but there was an ease that I didn’t appreciate at the time, until let her stop. I just want to say thank you for this recognition. It couldn’t be done without my cast. It was as if I had been on a diving expedition and the air on the line to the surface was being watched by certain people in my life, like my sons.