Brendan Fraser’s return to Hollywood at the 79th Venice Film Festival was met with many tears.
During Sunday night’s world premiere of “The Whale”, the 53-year-old actor was overcome with emotion as he sobbed throughout the film’s entire six-minute standing ovation.
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In the psychological drama, directed by “Black Swan”‘s Darren Aronofsky, Fraser portrays a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair. He spent roughly six hours in makeup each day in order to fully transform into the character.
Inside the Sala Grande Theatre in Venice, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Nick Kroll were spotted among the stars, along with Hillary Clinton staffer Huma Abedin, who sat a few rows behind Fraser and broke down in as many tears as the actor did. A number of other audience members also shed tears during “The Whale”‘s heartbreaking final scenes.
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During the ovation, Fraser hugged Aronofsky several times and bowed to the audience as they cheered loudly for his performance, which looks promising for his potential 2023 Oscars race for best actor.
“The Whale”‘s screenplay was written by Samuel D. Hunter and is based on his 2012 play of the same name. The movie marks Fraser’s first lead role in a film since 2013’s direct-to-DVD action flick “Breakout.” Alongside the American-Canadian actor, the supporting cast includes Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins.
A24 is set to release “The Whale” in theatres on Dec. 9.