Brendan Fraser has thanked his 'internet friends' after winning the Best Actor Oscar this evening, having recently enjoyed something of a resurgence in his career.
Fraser, 54, beat Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category at the 95th Academy Awards today (Sunday 12 March), following widespread acclaim for his poignant turn as a 600lb recluse.
Speaking after his win, he said: “I heard my name and I thought ‘that can’t be right’ but it was, so I guess I should get up there and say something quick…
"Thank you to all of my internet friends who’ve been so generous. I hope that I live up to this."
When asked how he was feeling, Fraser replied: “I feel a little light in the head, this is actually kinda heavy – one arm might be longer than the other by the end of the evening.”
He added of his character in The Whale: “Charlie is so much more than just a gay man. He’s a father, he’s an educator, he’s a truth seeker…and that he fell hopelessly, inconveniently, in love with whomever, is immaterial.
“That he found love, lost it, and then found it again – I think that that’s something that we can all take a page from and know that with perseverance… and if you put one foot in front of the other, like Charlie did, go to the light.
“Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. Good things will happen.”
Fraser has previously spoken about being 'blacklisted' from Hollywood, having struggled to land roles after huge success in the 1990s and 2000s.
It turned out Fraser wasn't out of work by choice, but because he felt he's been ousted by Hollywood after opening up in 2018 about historic abuse.
The actor claimed that he was the victim of sexual abuse in Hollywood, alleging that former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) Philip Berk sexually abused him.
However, he has now come full circle as the man of the moment, having received widespread support from his fans in recent years, who have rallied online to make the 'Brenaissance' a reality.
The incredible change of fate has not been lost on Fraser, who said he was 'so grateful' for his Oscar win.
Coming on stage, he said: “So this is what the multiverse looks like!
“I thank the academy for this honour… Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale."
Addressing his fellow best actor nominees, he said actors laid their 'whale-sized hearts bare', saying it was his 'honour' to be named alongside them in this category."
Fraser went on: “I want to tell you that only whales can swim at the depths of the talent of Hong Chau.
“I started in this business 30 years ago…there was a facility that that I didn’t appreciate at the time until it stopped.”
He added: "I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgement because it could not be done without my cast."Featured Image Credit: Oscars