Brendan Fraser Tearfully Accepts Award For 'The Whale' In First Solo Movie Win In 25 Years

Fraser mysteriously vanished from the spotlight after "The Mummy" made him a recognizable star.
Brendan Fraser's win at the Toronto International Film Festival made the actor emotional.
Brendan Fraser's win at the Toronto International Film Festival made the actor emotional.
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images

Brendan Fraser, one of the most endearing actors shuffling through the awards circuit’s top ranks, just nabbed a major win.

While TV’s brightest stars gathered Monday at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Fraser and his indie-movie cohorts attended the Toronto International Film Festival — where Fraser won a Tribute Award for Performance coinciding with his role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.”

“This is new for me, as things go,” joked Fraser. “Because normally I’m the guy at the podium who hands these things out, and I got really good at it. The trick is: Left hand, hold; right hand, shake. Left hand, hold; right hand, shake. Yeah.”

The actor spent the last quarter-century on Hollywood’s sidelines. While “The Mummy” made him a recognizable movie star, his last solo award as a film actor was at the Seattle International Film Festival in 1997.

“Apart from being a part of some impressive and talented ensemble casts, I think that the last time that I waited to hear my name called aloud to receive an award was in grade four. And it was from the peewee bowling league,” Fraser said in Toronto.

“Wait, it gets better,” he continued. “It was a little cup, it was about yay high and it had the words ‘high game handicap’ engraved on it. To this day, still don’t know what that means. But mom said it was a major award. Oh, also engraved on the plaque was the name ‘Brian Fusher.’”

He took smaller roles in independent films without fanfare before landing the role as an endearing 600-pound English teacher in “The Whale” that seems to have won critics’ hearts — and an enthusiastic standing ovation in Toronto that brought Fraser to tears.

This week’s win may signal a full-fledged comeback, and strong chances he’ll be nominated for an Oscar, according to EW.

“‘The Whale’” is a redemption story — he’s gone through significant life changes and has forgotten about who he is and the ones he loves, and he’s running out of time to tell them that — if he can at all,” Fraser said in Toronto.

“Brian, if you’re in the house, you can pick up your janky 45-year-old trophy at the coat check after the show,” joked Fraser. “This one’s mine.”

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