Why is Brendan Fraser’s Oscars Win Such a Big Deal? The Heartthrob’s Rise, Fall, and ‘Brennaissance’
On Sunday, long-time Hollywood heartthrob Brendan Fraser won his first-ever Oscar for his tearjerker of a role as the lead
On Sunday, long-time Hollywood heartthrob Brendan Fraser won his first-ever Oscar for his tearjerker of a role as the lead in “The Whale.”
But if you’re not a Fraser fan, you may have woken up today completely blown away by the response that Fraser’s win is receiving online around the world.
Why was his win such a big deal?
He’s a quick glimpse into the rise, fall, and resurgence of a gentle actor who was used up by Hollywood, thrown away, and then fought his way back to the top.
Brendan Fraser’s Career Timeline: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Once upon a time, Brendan Fraser was an up-and-coming sex icon with a chiseled body and an incredible acting versatility. With a gentle and humble nature, quick wit and penchant for being an absolute gentleman for fans, it’s easy to understand why he’s so beloved.
Fraser garnered fans wherever he went and whoever he played, with an affable smile and the ability to hone any role to perfection.
As a child, his love for acting was piqued after he watched the West End musical “Oliver!” and the rest was almost history.
In his 20’s, Brendan broke into the big time with 1992 cult hit “Encino Man,” where he played a loveable caveman out of time.
But his beefcake appearance made him typecast for increasingly physical roles, by the time he played the half-naked titular role in “George of the Jungle,” he was making serious sacrifices to keep his body fit and lean.
Fraser has since admitted that he used to starve himself of carbs and dehydrate himself to have the perfect chiseled bod, and says he was prone to “brain fog” so bad that he once forgot his pin number as a result.
Eventually, he landed the lead role in 1999 mega-hit, “The Mummy,” alongside Rachel Weisz.
And Fraser’s popularity hit even more of a fever pitch, if that’s possible.
Fraser would star in multiple “Mummy” sequels and a few more movies – and then he dropped off the map.
Fraser’s disappearance from Hollywood was billed as the result of a nasty divorce (and it partially was), but there was a more sinister reason for his blacklisting – former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk allegedly sexually assaulted the actor in 2003.
And if you try to speak out about what happens to you in Hollywood, good luck getting another job.
For the next 15 years or so, Fraser received bit parts – compared to his leading man roles in the late ’90’s and early ’00’s.
The next time most people saw Brendan Fraser was in DC Comics’ 2019-? “Doom Patrol,” where he played traumatized father-turned-mech Cliff Steele.
And then, he played an unlikely leading role in “The Whale” in 2022.
In this film, Fraser played a former English teacher battling extreme obesity and isolation to reconnect with his estranged teenaged daughter.
And despite the fact that the role did not display Fraser’s well-known sexy vibe, it was an instant hit.
The actor’s range and skill were on full display, and people loved it.
When he received an Oscar after so many years in the dark, it felt like a win for Fraser, his family and his fans – and a world that needed an underdog win more than anything.
Brendan Fraser’s Oscar Win Steals Hearts Around the World
Last night, the big announcement was made: Brendan Fraser wins Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in “The Whale.”
As Fraser made his way to the stage, it was cleared he was overwhelmed by emotion.
And the audience soon joined him in that wave of emotion.
A tearful Fraser said, “My sons Holden, Leland and Griffin, I love you Griffie.” He thanked his manager girlfriend and others, hyperventilating a little at the wash of feelings.
There was no moment where he acknowledged all that he’s overcome, no flowery speech about beating the odds – just a man grappling with emotions after being awarded a once-impossible honor.
And people were floored by the humility of it all.
Actors are known for their swagger and their style, but Brendan is down-to-earth. Relatable in a way that few in Hollywood are.
So his win felt like more than an underdog story of reclaiming glory, it felt like a normal person achieving the impossible.
Fraser has long been blown away by the fact that people remained his fans even when he was persona non grata in Hollywood, and seems utterly flabbergasted at the fact that he’s so universally adored.
But lifelong fans of “Encino Man,” “The Mummy,” and “George of the Jungle” will tell you that Fraser is more than just an actor, he’s a legend.
And now, he’s a legend with an Oscar.