Actor Brendan Fraser broke down in tears during his acceptance speech during Sunday evening’s Critic’s Choice Awards.
Fraser was nominated for his performance as Charlie — a morbidly obese teacher who was attempting to repair his damaged relationship with his daughter (played by Sadie Sink) while eating himself to death — in “The Whale,” and he took home the Best Actor prize.
Fraser was clearly already emotional when his name was announced, and everyone at his table got to their feet and cheered. The applause continued as he made his way to the stage, stopping only to offer hugs and handshakes to a few people along the way.
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Once Fraser took the stage, it was clear that he was not going to make it through the speech without his emotions getting the best of him.
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“I was in the wilderness,” he began. “And I probably should have left a trail of breadcrumbs … But you found me, and like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be.”
Referencing the character he had played in the film, Fraser spent the rest of his brief speech delivering a heartfelt message to anyone who may have struggled in the past — or who was currently struggling — with obesity in their lives.
“If you, like a guy like Charlie, who I played in this movie, in any way struggle with obesity,” Fraser continued in halting tones. “Or you just feel like you’re in a dark sea, I want you to know that if you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen!”
The standing ovation that came next almost drowned Fraser out as he added, “Thank you, good night.”
Fraser is expected to receive an Academy Award nomination for his performance in “The Whale” and has already been nominated for — and won — a handful of other awards. If he is nominated, it will be his first Oscar nod. He previously won a Critic’s Choice Award — Best Acting Ensemble for the 2006 film “Crash.”