Brendan Fraser breaks down as fans give him a standing ovation for his performance in ‘The Whale’

Brendan Fraser found it difficult to play the character with severe obesity in ‘The Whale,’ but he discovered ‘appreciation for those whose bodies are similar.’

Brendan Fraser has been touched by fans who are excited about what they’re calling the “Brenaissance,” the actor’s return to the big screen after a long hiatus from acting. Fans adore the actor for his emotional range and candor. Fraser received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival’s Sunday night world premiere of “The Whale,” which moved the actor. As the credits for Darren Aronofsky’s film rolled, the “Crash” actor, overcome with emotion, sobbed throughout the thunderous applause.

A video of the standing ovation shows Fraser, who is endearing, unable to register the outpouring of love and support for him. He was about to congratulate the director when Aronofsky urged him to stand and appreciate the audience’s heartfelt applause. The audience erupted in applause when he did. Fraser burst into tears after being pleasantly surprised by the positive response to his performance. In response to the cute video, many of the actor’s fans tweeted, “Let the Brenaissance begin!” Many others in the theater pulled out handkerchiefs during the film’s heartbreaking final scenes.

Fraser hugged director Darren Aronofsky “many times during the ovation” and was applauded louder as he attempted to exit the auditorium. According to Variety, this pushed him to stay a little longer. The film “The Whale,” based on Samuel D. Hunter’s play of the same name, stars Fraser as a gay man struggling to reconcile with his 17-year-old daughter, played by “Stranger Things” star Sadie Sink. Fraser had taken a break from show business before his return after speaking out about the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sexually assaulting him at a Beverly Hills dinner in 2003. Fraser blamed the decline in Hollywood roles on blacklisting.

According to Fraser, his character in “The Whale” is the “most heroic man” he’s ever played. He described the project as difficult and stated that the character’s “The ability to see the good in others and bring it out in them is a superpower. And in the process, he is on his way to salvation.” To play the role in the film, Fraser wore a prosthetic suit that added anywhere from 50 to 300 pounds, which Fraser described as “cumbersome, not exactly comfortable.”  He said, “I needed to learn to absolutely move in a new way. I developed muscles I did not know I had.”

He added that after all the appliances were taken off at the end of the day, to him it felt “undulating” like “stepping off the dock onto a boat in Venice.” Speaking of the realizations he went through while working on his character he said, “It gave me appreciation for those whose bodies are similar. You need to be an incredibly strong person, mentally and physically, to inhabit that physical being.”

Fraser’s first lead role since 2013’s “Breakout” is in “The Whale.” Fraser was set to play the antagonist in HBO Max’s “Batgirl” film before it was announced in August that it would be postponed indefinitely.

Fraser’s stunts in some of his prominent action film work have resulted in several surgeries, including a partial knee replacement, two laminectomies, and treatment on his vocal cords. According to GQ, Fraser spent the first seven years of the century repeatedly visiting hospitals.

Brendan Fraser’s efforts appear to have paid off if the premiere on Sunday night is any indication. According to Variety, his performance will undoubtedly vault him to the top of this year’s Oscar race for best actor.