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Brendan Fraser wins Best Actor Oscar for The Whale

Actor starred in Darren Aronofsky’s controversial drama

Louis Chilton
Monday 13 March 2023 03:42 GMT
Oscars audience sings Happy Birthday to An Irish Goodbye star James Martin

Brendan Fraser has won Best Actor at the 2023 Academy Awards for his role in The Whale.

He beat fellow nominees Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Bill Nighy (Living) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) to the award.

Accepting the award, a visibly emotional Fraser said: “So this is what the multiverse looks like. I thank the Academy for this honour, and to our studio A24 for making such a bold film.

“Gentlemen, you laid your whale-sized hearts bare so we could see into your souls, and it is my honour to be nominated alongside you in this category.”

You can keep up to date with the latest Oscar developments in our dedicated liveblog.

Ahead of the ceremony, Fraser had been the bookmakers’ favourite, for his role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, playing an obese man struggling with grief. Butler was also tipped to be a strong contender, having played Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic opposite Tom Hanks.

Farrell was also given an outside chance, for his role as a man whose life is upended when his friend (Brendan Gleeson) starts ignoring him in Irish black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin.

The Oscars took place on Sunday night (12 March) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Brendan Fraser accepts the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for ‘The Whale' (AFP via Getty Images)

Over the night, multiverse comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once took home a number of the biggest awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress.

Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian star to win in the category, and only the second woman of colour to do so.

Elsewhere on the night, Colin Farrell had an unscripted dig at Saturday Night Live, over its controversial sketch last night.

Hugh Grant, meanwhile sparked mixed reactions among viewers with an “awkward” interview conducted on the red carpet.

In a lighter moment, the winners of the Short Film (Live Action) award cut their speech short to lead the auditorium in a rendition of “Happy Birthday”.

For a full list of this year’s winners, click here.

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