Helen Mirren's Reaction to Brendan Fraser's Oscar Win? Priceless (And Kinda Heartbreaking)

Helen Mirren's Reaction to Brendan Fraser's Oscar Win? Priceless (And Kinda Heartbreaking)
Image credit: Legion-Media

Brendan Fraser just took home Best Actor at the 2023 Oscars for his performance in 2022's The Whale.

This is not only an achievement in itself, but signifies Fraser's return to the spotlight after over a decade of playing minor roles in obscure movies, due to a combination of scandals (which might have caused much of Hollywood to blacklist him), health problems, family problems and depression.

And the reaction of Helen Mirren, who co-starred with Fraser in Inkheart, to this development was precious:

"I did watch it [the awards ceremony]. I was in a restaurant actually," Mirren, 77, told host Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "I cried when Brendan Fraser got the award. I cried."

"He's such a lovely person," Helen Mirren added. "I'm sure you know what a beautiful man he is. He's a magical man — he was clearly very very moved it was a huge moment for him."

However, this reaction was also sort of heartbreaking, given that despite being described in such most flattering of terms, Brendan Fraser remained largely forgotten by Hollywood for such a long time.

And being forgotten like this is actually not uncommon. There are plenty of actors (formerly) in Hollywood, whose careers got pretty much ended, or reduced to very minor roles, by one or two bad performances or real-life incidents.

While coming back from obscurity, like Fraser just did, is actually rare. If you check any list of actors who ruined this careers, of which Fraser usually featured just a year ago (like), you'd be able to see that.

Even when someone does managed to rebound, as John Travolta did with Pulp Fiction, his career is likely to soon implode again – only time will tell if Fraser's newfound success is going to be consistent.

No wonder that Fraser was visibly tearful and overwhelmed with emotion throughout his Oscar speech. He profusely thanked those who helped him get to the stage at Los Angeles's Dolby Theatre:

"I'm grateful to [director] Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale. "

And given his situation before that film (which not only earned him an Academy Award, plus a lot of other awards, but was commercially successful), he had reasons to be so thankful.