Brendan Fraser’s return to Hollywood at the 79th Venice Film Festival was met with many tears.
During Sunday night’s world premiere of “The Whale”, the 53-year-old actor was overcome with emotion as he sobbed throughout the film’s entire six-minute standing ovation.
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) September 4, 2022
Dwayne Johnson was among those commenting on the clip, saying how Fraser helped start his acting career when they starred in 2001’s “The Mummy Returns” together.
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
In “The Whale”, which is a psychological drama directed by “Black Swan”‘s Darren Aronofsky, Fraser portrays a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair. He spent roughly six hours in makeup each day in order to fully transform into the character.
Inside the Sala Grande Theatre in Venice, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Nick Kroll were spotted among the stars, along with Hillary Clinton staffer Huma Abedin, who sat a few rows behind Fraser and broke down in as many tears as the actor did. A number of other audience members also shed tears during “The Whale”‘s heartbreaking final scenes.
During the ovation, Fraser hugged Aronofsky several times and bowed to the audience as they cheered loudly for his performance, which looks promising for his potential 2023 Oscars race for best actor.
“The Whale”‘s screenplay was written by Samuel D. Hunter and is based on his 2012 play of the same name. The movie marks Fraser’s first lead role in a film since 2013’s direct-to-DVD action flick “Breakout.” Alongside the American-Canadian actor, the supporting cast includes Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins.
A24 is set to release “The Whale” in theatres on Dec. 9.