Brendan Fraser, 53, received another standing ovation for his new movie, The Whale, which will debut for all to see on Dec. 9. The actor, who plays a 600-pound man named Charlie trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink, stepped on stage after the film’s screening at the BFI London Film Festival on Tuesday night and was moved to tears by the audience’s reaction, as seen in the below video. Brendan showed his gratitude throughout the five-minute standing ovation by bowing, shaking his head, and sharing the stage with his fellow filmmakers as the audience clapped and cheered for him.
Am I at Venice? 5 min standing ovation for Brendan Fraser’s masterpiece performance in #TheWhale. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire movie. My heart is in my throat. #LFF @a24 pic.twitter.com/dHsCAErgu0
— Lauren Bradshaw (@flickchickdc) October 11, 2022
The touching moments for Brendan followed the standing ovation he received at the Venice Film Festival in early September. He humbly sat in his seat and clapped along as the audience erupted in cheers following the movie’s end before being encouraged to stand up and fully take in the moment by his collaborators. He could be seen getting emotional as he looked around the room.
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) September 4, 2022
Fans took to social media after both standing ovations to praise Brendan for his first leading role after 2013’s Breakout. Furthermore, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 50, recognized the George of the Jungle star’s work by recalling his kindness when he entered the franchise Brendan is known for, The Mummy. “Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan,” he tweeted after the actor’s standing ovation in London. “He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky.”
Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan. He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky. #TheWhale 👏🏾 https://t.co/SNBLPHHmEZ
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 4, 2022
Brendan’s big role also marks his comeback gig after battling depression for years that began after he was allegedly sexually assaulted by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003. He did not make his allegations public until he sat down for an interview with GQ in 2018 when the #MeToo movement gained major steam in Hollywood. “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” the actor claimed. He said he immediately rushed home to tell his then-wife, but did not feel comfortable going public with the encounter and didn’t want to make it part of his narrative.
“I felt ill. I felt like a little kid,” he recalled of the incident. “I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.” He did take some action, however, when he asked HFPA via his representatives for an apology. Philip wrote one, but it was seemingly in order to simply appease Brendan. “My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize,'” he told GQ. Philip is still a member of the HFPA.
Brendan also opened up about the depression he felt after the whole ordeal and said it made him “retreat” and “feel reclusive.” He also wondered if the HFPA blacklisted him from Hollywood, saying, “I don’t know if this curried disfavor with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening.” He claimed after 2003, he was infrequently invited to the Golden Globes.
The praise Brendan has received — including Oscar buzz — for The Whale so far has certainly meant a lot to him, considering the tears of gratitude he shed during both standing ovations. Furthermore, Brendan has said he is confident the film is going to be a hit with viewers. “It’s gonna be like something you haven’t seen before,” he told Unilad in Oct. 2021. “The wardrobe and costume was extensive, seamless, cumbersome. This is certainly far removed from anything I’ve ever done but not to be coy … I do know it’s going to make a lasting impression.”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.