Brendan Fraser received another lengthy standing ovation for his movie The Whale. which screened at the London Film Festival on Tuesday.
The actor broke down in tears during the five minute ovation for the film, which marks his Hollywood comeback after years spent grappling with depression following a claim of sexual assault alongside multiple health issues.
In video shared by a guest, an emotional Brendan, 53, is seen bowing to rapturous applause from the audience before embracing director Darren Aronofsky and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter who joined him on stage.
Tears: Brendan Fraser received another lengthy standing ovation for his movie The Whale. which screened at the London Film Festival on Tuesday
‘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,’ one audience member wrote alongside the video.
Brendan was proudly supported by his glamorous partner Jeanne Moore as he graced the red carpet for the UK premiere on the seventh day of the BFI London Film Festival.
The Whale, which will be released in cinemas in December, received its first premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month, and is quickly earning rave reviews.
In footage shared on social media following the film’s Venice screening, Brendan fought back tears as he received a lengthy standing ovation.
Moment: An emotional Brendan, 53, is seen bowing to rapturous applause from the audience before embracing director Darren Aronofsky and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter
Fans and friends on Twitter loved Fraser’s emotional reaction, with actor Dwayne Johnson writing a lovely message of support.
‘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.’
The Whale is a psychological drama which saw Brendan undergo a physical transformation, as he plays a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair, a role for which he also had to wear prosthetics.
Comeback: The actor broke down in tears during the five minute ovation for the film, which marks his Hollywood comeback after years spent grappling with depression
Acclaimed performance: The Whale, which will be released in cinemas in December, received its first premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month, and is quickly earning rave reviews
Its official synopsis reads: ‘A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.’
The film is set to hit theaters on December 9, and marks Brendan’s first lead role in a movie since straight-to-DVD thriller Breakout in 2013, leading many fans to believe this is his comeback.
Fraser shot to stardom when he was cast in children’s favourite film franchises George of the Jungle and The Mummy.
His unbelievably chiselled physique earnt him a position as a Hollywood heartthrob as he thrashed around the sets performing stunts in high-action roles.
But Fraser revealed in a later interview the toll the stunts had taken on his body.
Well-received: The Whale is a psychological drama which saw Brendan undergo a physical transformation, as well as wear prosthetics to play a man ‘living with obesity’
He told GQ in 2018 that when he filmed the third installment in The Mummy franchise, he was being taped up and was icing injuries in between takes.
Speaking from his home in Bedford, New York, he said the physical toll of his roles made him feel like a workhorse from the Orwell novel Animal Farm.
After rising to fame through the action-packed films, Fraser described his buff physique as resembling ‘a walking steak’.
In the same interview the actor revealed he believed he had been blacklisted from Hollywood after he claimed he had been sexually assaulted by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003.
Picture perfect: Brendan was proudly supported by his glamorous partner Jeanne Moore at the UK premiere of The Whale at the BFI London Film Festival on Tuesday
Fraser claimed he was leaving a luncheon hosted by the HFPA at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Hollywood when Berk shook his hand.
Fraser said: ‘His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.’
He added: ‘I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.’
Fraser claimed he was able to remove Berk’s hand before running out of the hotel and going straight home. He told his then wife, Afton Smith, about the incident but never made it public.
Instead, his reps asked Berk for a written apology, which he provided, but did not admit any wrongdoing.
Speaking to GQ about the claims, Berk acknowledged he had written a letter of apology to Fraser but insisted he had not done anything wrong and dismissed Fraser’s account as ‘a total fabrication’.
Here they are! Joining Brendan (centre) for the premiere was The Whale’s director Darren Aronofsky (left) and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter (right)
Emotional: Brendan previously got emotional while receiving a lengthy standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his latest film, which is already garnering him Oscars buzz
Support: Fans and friends on Twitter loved Fraser’s reaction, with actor Dwayne Johnson writing a lovely message of support
After Fraser reported the claim to the HFPA he said he believed he may have been ‘blacklisted’ and was rarely invited back to the Golden Globe awards.
Fraser said the incident had caused him to ‘retreat’ as he spiraled into depression. He described feeling ‘not worthy’ as the decade wore on, leading him to take roles he was less proud of.
Meanwhile, his marriage was also falling apart. He divorced Afton Smith in 2007 after nine years of marriage and three sons together, Griffin, Leland and Holden. As part of the settlement, he was ordered to pay $50,000 a month in spousal support.
However in 2013 he sought an amendment to the agreement asking to pay less, claiming he wasn’t earning the same enormous paycheques he had received in the 1990s during his heyday and couldn’t afford the payments.
Brendan said in an interview at last month’s Toronto Film Festival that his confidence is up amid the glowing reviews he’s received for his work in The Whale.
‘So often, I have just felt like a working actor who was glad to have a job: “What do you got? I’ll do it,”‘ he said, according to the Toronto Star. ‘And that’s a different guy than who I am right now.’
He added: ‘In recent years, when I was a bit more reticent to step forward – have a life with kids and an oldest son with special needs, another kid who’s going to be a senior now and another one who is [learning] to drive and he’s picking up guitar – I think it just gave me a sense of purpose that I don’t know that I would have appreciated as a younger man.’
Director Aronofsky said of Fraser’s presence in the motion picture: ‘It’s the right actor, for the right part, at the right time.’