Variety reported the Mummy actor “sobbed” during the six-minute standing ovation. In a video captured from inside the festival, Fraser could barely stand up as the crowd cheered.
The 53-year-old is seen hugging director Darren Aronofsky several times before he attempts to leave the theatre, but he is met with loud applause, so he stays longer and takes a bow with watery eyes.
The Whale is a new psychological thriller, and it follows a reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity as he struggles to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. The movie is adapted from the play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter.
In order to play the lead role, Fraser underwent a dramatic physical transformation and wore a prosthetic suit that added at least 50 lb (23 kg).
The film has already garnered him Oscar’s buzz. Variety critics and other journalists are suggesting Fraser is a likely contender for the best actor category.
The Whale is the first lead role for the actor in almost a decade, since 2013’s Breakout. However, he has appeared in many TV series, includng the Affair, as well as a few feature films.
Fraser became a household name in the 1990s for the Mummy franchise, but his star started to wane during the 2010s, as took on lesser roles. The Indianapolis-born actor used to perform many of his own stunts on screen and had to take some time out to address physical ailments.
In 2018, he shared with GQ that his vocal cord and knee had been repaired. He also had to have a laminectomy, which is a procedure that removes vertebrae from the spine.
According to IMDb, he has several upcoming roles, including a part in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, alongside Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brothers, alongside Peter Dinklage and Glenn Close.