Brendan Fraser Says Oscar-nominated Character “Profoundly Changed My Life”

Brendan Fraser says he’s “overjoyed” to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Whale, and said his character, Charlie, “changed my life profoundly.”

The actor was among the big Hollywood names celebrating the news of the nominations, which was announced on Tuesday.

All of the year’s Best Actor nominees were newcomers, and Fraser was joined in the category by Colin Farrell, Bill Nighy, Paul Mescal and Austin Butler.

“I am absolutely delighted and deeply grateful to the Academy for this recognition and appreciation of Hong Chau’s beautiful performance and Adrien Morot’s amazing makeup,” he said in a statement shared with PA news agency.

The Whale sees Fraser play the overweight and lonely teacher Charlie who struggles to reconnect with his estranged daughter, played by Stranger Things star Sadie Sink.

“I wouldn’t have this nomination without Darren Aronofsky, Samuel D Hunter, A24 and the amazing cast and crew who gave me the character of Charlie,” continued Fraser.

“A gift that I certainly did not expect, but it is a gift that has profoundly changed my life. Thank you.”

Farrell said he was “extremely honored” to be nominated, well-deserved for his role in the dark Irish comedy The Banshees Of Inisherin, and sent “congratulations to all the lads”.

Veteran English actor Nighy said he was “surrounded by killers” while filming Living, for which he received credit, and said the nomination “belongs to them all”.

Mescal was nominated for his role in the coming-of-age drama Aftersun and described his nomination as “bananas” and a “mad honour”.

“This is a truly special moment for everyone involved with Aftersun,” he said in a statement shared with the PA.

“To be recognized by the Academy is a crazy honor and I am very grateful.

“I want to dedicate this nomination to my two friends, Charlotte and Frankie, whom I love very much. It’s bananas, thank you.

The sci-fi thriller Everything Everywhere All At Once topped the nominations with a total of 11 nominations – including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

Ke Huy Quan, who has already won a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award for his performance, said adding an Oscar nomination to his collection was beyond his “wildest dreams.”

“I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it feels to be recognized as an Oscar nominee! Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this moment. It still doesn’t feel real!” he said.

“Thank you so much to the Academy for this great honor and for believing in our little film. An outpouring of love and a warm welcome back is something I will cherish forever.

“To my fellow nominees, I am impressed by your work and feel very lucky to be standing next to you today. Congratulations to my family EEAAO. I love you!”

Jamie Lee Curtis, who appears opposite Quan in the film, shared a photo of her reaction to the news of Stephanie Hsu’s Best Supporting Actress nominations for her own roles.

“This is what surprise looks like,” she wrote on Instagram.

“The first is when I heard my name, then the thrill of my friend @stephaniehsuofficial name Stephanie, and the rest of the nominations, and then the best thing of all, a loving hug for my husband.”

Acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro, who has previously won two Oscars, was nominated for Best Animated Feature for his Pinocchio.

“Grateful and happy for our team and great artists and technicians from three countries and around the world,” he wrote.

Fellow director Sarah Polley, whose film Women Talking was nominated for the coveted Best Picture category, added: “Today I am so happy and so grateful to the amazing collective of actors and crew that made Women Talking.”

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