On Sunday afternoon, the cast of “The Whale” and Darren Aronofsky debuted their movie at the Venice International Film Festival. Followed by receiving a standing ovation for the feature film, a tradition for the film festival, Brendan Fraser, who served as the movie’s main lead, was left in tears.
On social media, a video has been circulating where festival-goers applaud Aronofsky as he joyously hugs the cast and crew members who were involved in the movie’s making.
After speaking to a few of the cast members, the filmmaker introduces Fraser to the audience, which presents Fraser with thunderous applause. As per the people in attendance, the standing ovation for the movie was nearly six minutes long.
Watch Brendan Fraser’s emotional moment right here as he takes it all in:
Brendan Fraser is back — and he sobbed during the #Venezia79 six-minute standing ovation for #TheWhale. pic.twitter.com/y4l10ZFWQa
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) September 4, 2022
During the ovation, Fraser was seen hugging Aronofsky several times. At one point, the star actor even tried to leave the theater; however, the roaring applause held him back, and he even took a bow.
“The Whale” features Fraser in the leading role of a man who has been dealing with severe obesity and has a hard time connecting with his 17-year-old daughter, played by Sadie Sink, Stranger Things’ breakout star. The supporting cast includes Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins, and Hong Chau.
“The Whale” is based on a play by the same title, penned by Samuel D. Hunter, who also adapted the stage script for the feature film.
For playing the role of the main lead, Fraser had to wear a prosthetic suit which nearly added 50 to 300 pounds in every scene. To fully transform into his character, Fraser had to spend as much as six hours in the makeup chair every day.
Prior to the premiere, the actor was seen giving an interview where he described the prosthetic suit to be “cumbersome, not exactly comfortable.” He also added, “The torso piece was almost like a strait-jacket with sleeves that went on, airbrushed by hand, to look identical as would human skin, right down to the hand-punched hair.”
In the Venice press conference, Fraser also told the journalists:
I developed muscles I did not know I had. “I even felt a sense of vertigo at the end of the day when all the appliances were removed; it was like stepping off the dock onto a boat in Venice. That [sense of] undulating. It gave me appreciation for those whose bodies are similar.
He also said:
You need to be an incredibly strong person, mentally and physically, to inhabit that physical being.
Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman penned a review for “The Whale” and recalled Fraser’s performance as “slyer, subtler, more haunting than he has ever been,” he also went on to say that Fraser gave an “intensely lived-in and touching performance.”
With “The Whale,” Aronofsky delivers yet another buzzworthy project through the Venice premiere, keeping up with his rich history at the prestigious festival. Although Aronofsky’s debut at the Venice premiere of “The Fountain” didn’t do well, in 2008, he bounced back with “The Wrestler,” winning the Golden Lion.
Among his other hits are “Black Swan,” the 2010 hit that even landed Mila Kunis an emerging actor award, whereas in 2017’s film festival, “Mother!” was hugely talked about as it left quite an impression on everyone.
Social media was in awe of Fraser and wished only the best for the actor.
@kenzvanunu found it quite emotional as they saw Brendan Fraser making his way to “The Whale” premiere; the tweet received over 15.4k likes and 1k retweets:
crying watching brendan fraser arrive to the premiere of the whale ? pic.twitter.com/R095sjOlBS
— Kenzie Vanunu ⚡️? (@kenzvanunu) September 4, 2022
@inoelshikari shared how they couldn’t be happier for Brendan Fraser’s success, the tweet received over 34.5K likes, and nearly 2k retweets:
Does anybody else get a little bit overly emotional to see happy things happen for Brendan Fraser? Or is that just me? ? pic.twitter.com/0PBsXFU9AC
— leoni horton ? (@inoelshikari) September 4, 2022
Brendan Fraser also shared his two cents over playing Charlie and what a challenge it was for his career:
Brendan Fraser says ‘THE WHALE’ presented the biggest challenge of his career.
“Charlie is the most heroic man I have ever played. His superpower is to seek the good in others & bring that out in them. And in that process, he’s on his journey of salvation.” #Venezia79 pic.twitter.com/JPUn7JMOr4
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) September 4, 2022
Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista), a film critic for SlashFilm, criticized Warner Bros for shelving Batgirl as Brendan Fraser would’ve been amazing in it:
Warner Bros shooting themselves in the foot by shelving Batgirl and missing out on the big Brendan Fraser comeback, very amusing
— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) September 5, 2022
@shehateluca mentions how Fraser has been a champion throughout his career:
brendan fraser was sexually assaulted by a hollywood executive, blacklisted from most major motion pictures for almost 2 decades, and comes back from his struggle to a 6-minute standing ovation in his honor tonight. what a fucking champion
— luca ?#TIFF22 (@shehateluca) September 4, 2022
If you’re excited to watch Fraser’s comeback, “The Whale” will be released on A24 on December 9. Be sure to watch The Whale on A24 as soon as it releases!