14 Sep - Brendan Fraser couldn't help but get emotional as he accepted his TIFF Tribute Award accolade at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The actor, who accepted the award (known to be a major pre-Oscars accolade given in the past to stars like Jessica Chastain and Joaquin Phoenix) for his performance in Darren Aronofsky's "The Whale", couldn't help but made a self-deprecating joke about how he had never been a recipient of such honour.
"This is new for me. Normally I'm the guy who hands these things out, and I got really good at it. The trick is: Left hand, hold; right hand, shake," he joked.
"Apart from being a part of some impressive and talented ensemble casts, I think the last time that I waited to hear my name called aloud to receive an award was in grade 4, and it was from the peewee bowling league... My mom said it was a major award. Also, engraved on the plaque was the name 'Brian Fusher,' so, Brian, if you're in the house, you can pick up your trophy after the show. This one's mine."
The honour given to Fraser had moved everybody in the room, including Michelle Yeoh, who worked with the actor in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" in 2008.
Prior to TIFF, Fraser received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his performance as an obese man estranged from his daughter in the said film.
"Art is about taking a risk, and [Aronofsky and writer Samuel D. Hunter] took a chance on me, and I'm grateful to them," Fraser said. "The Whale is a redemption story... he's gone through significant life changes and has forgotten about who he is and the ones he loves, and he's running out of time to tell them that - if he can at all. But, he has a superpower: Charlie sees the good in others when they can't see that in themselves, and he can bring that out in them. I'm a firm believer that we need more of that in this world. It's the audience that gives cinema life, so I must thank you for keeping me in the job that I love because it's nice work if you can get it."