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Brendan Fraser gets emotional as he wins best actor at 2023 SAG Awards

Brendan Fraser gets emotional as he wins best actor at 2023 SAG Awards
Brendan Fraser / © Cover Media

Brendan Fraser became emotional as he accepted the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

In The Whale, directed by Darren Aronofsky and adapted from Samuel Hunter's play of the same name, Fraser portrays a morbidly obese English teacher who tries to restore his relationship with his teenage daughter.

While accepting the award from presenter Jessica Chastain, an emotional Fraser shared that the statuette would not be treasured more than the SAG card he received to make him a member of the actors' union 32 years ago.

"I will treasure this but never more than what I treasured that I used to keep in my wallet which was my SAG card which I earned in 1991," the 54-year-old said. "It made me feel like I belonged. We're actors, we all want to belong to a tribe and that's where I found my tribe."

Fraser noted how he never would have believed he would be offered the role of his life in The Whale, revealing that like his character, he's been on a "raft of regrets" but has also found himself "in a sea of hope".

He added, "I've been at that sea and I've rode that wave lately, it's been powerful and good. And I've also had that wave smash me right down to the ocean floor and drag my face along there and wind up on some strange beach in a different world and wonder where am I now."

Fraser's portrayal of a 600lbs (272kg) man struggling with the constraints of his reclusive lifestyle in The Whale has earned him numerous award nominations, including a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination and a Critics Choice Award win.

He beat the likes of Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Bill Nighy (Living), and Adam Sandler (Hustle) to win the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role SAG Award.

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