Brendan Fraser could not help but be emotional at the premiere of his highly-anticipated comeback film. 

At the world premiere of The Whale on Sunday at the Venice International FIlm Festival, the 53-year-old actor appeared visibly moved when the movie received a six-minute standing ovation. 

At one point as it was happening, Brendan raised his hands in the air and then place them on his knees. He also hugged director Darren Aronofsky “several times during the ovation.”

When he tried to get off the stage and leave the theater, Brendan was met with even louder applause. This prompted the beloved star to remain in place for a bit longer. 

Ahead of Sunday’s premiere of The Whale, Brendan opened up about the “undulating” feeling of starring as Charlie in the film, for which he underwent a major physical transformation to play the 600-pound man. 

He told THR before the premiere:

“I think it’s poetic that the trauma he carries is manifest in the physical weight of his body. I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way. I developed muscles I did not know that I had. I even felt a sense of vertigo, when at the end of the day all the appliances were removed, just as you would feel stepping off the boat onto the dock here in Venice — that undulating feeling.

And I say this because he gave me an appreciation for those whose bodies are similar because I learned that you need to be an incredibly strong person physically and mentally to inhabit that physical being. And I think that is Charlie, also.”

In a separate interview for Variety a few days before the premiere, Brendan shared that he took on the project after seeking a role that would help him learn “what I was capable of.” He said:

“If there’s no risk, then why bother? I want to learn from the people I’m working with at this point in my career. I’ve had such variety, a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I’m keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I’m contributing to the craft, and I’m learning from it.

This is a prime opportunity. I wanted to disappear into it. My hope was that I would become unrecognizable.”


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