+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Brendan Fraser's emotional awards speech about hope left audience in tears

'If you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen.'

brendan fraser, brendan fraser the whale, the whale
Discussing Film/Twitter

Brendan Fraser took home Best Actor from the Critics Choice Awards.

Like the rest of the world, we at Upworthy have found Brendan Fraser’s glorious return to the Hollywood spotlight to be inspiring. After a multiyear hiatus, his role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” has been a career milestone—both catapulting him back onto the big screen and gaining widespread accolades for his incredible performance. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, do. And bring tissues … it’s beautifully heartbreaking.

At long last, it seems this beloved actor and genuinely decent guy is getting the comeback he deserves. Since “The Whale” released to theaters, Fraser has been a frontrunner for the coveted Best Actor title, and scored his first win (of probably many) at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards.


As you can probably imagine, this full-circle moment meant a lot to Fraser. The video below captures his initial reaction to hearing his name being announced and taking his triumphant march to the stage.

And as he delivered a moving acceptance speech, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the house.

Because Brendan Fraser wouldn’t be Brendan Fraser without a charming sense of humor, he began by making the audience laugh. “Where were you for ‘Furry Vengeance’?” he quipped, harkening back to his comedy heyday.

He continued by praising his cast and crew members—including Aronofsky, who essentially plucked the actor out of obscurity. “I was in the wilderness and I probably should have left a trail of breadcrumbs, but you found me. And like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be,” he told the director.

Then, with his voice trembling with emotion, Fraser declared, "If you, like a guy like Charlie, who I played in this movie, in any way struggle with obesity or you just feel like you’re in a dark sea, I want you to know that if you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen."

In “The Whale,” Fraser plays a 600-pound man who uses his final days to reconcile with his estranged daughter (played by Sadie Sink). Whether or not obesity is a mental illness has been a subject of debate, however it has been closely linked with mood disorders like depression—which, let’s face it, can make anyone feel hopeless and inert, overweight or not. Above all, the big theme of the film is about having the strength to hold onto hope, regardless of circumstances. Or as Fraser put it, “finding the light in a dark place.”

Fraser's words touched many who have found themselves in similar situations:

Time will tell if this moment foreshadows an Oscar win, but in our hearts, Fraser is already a winner. Thank you for giving us all a masterclass in emotional resilience and compassion.

There's one word you can't say on a cruise ship.

On December 10, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas set sail on the Ultimate World Cruise—a 274-day global trek that visits 11 world wonders and over 60 countries. This incredible trip covers the Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Mediterranean and Europe with a ticket price that ranges from $53,999 to $117,599 per passenger.

Aboard the Serenade to the Seas is popular TikToker Marc Sebastian, who has been sharing his experience on the platform.

In a recent video with over 4.3 million views, he revealed what he’s learned over his first few weeks aboard the ship; the biggest was the one word you’re not allowed to say: Titanic.

Keep ReadingShow less
Angel City Chorale/ Youtube

Angel City Chorale performs "Africa" by Toto

There are nearly 90 known covers of Toto’s “Africa.” Goodness knows there are countless more not recorded. It’s just one of those enduring hits that remains special no matter what clever spin is put on it.

In fact, many renditions continue to be just as timeless as the original. Take for instance this gem from Angel City Chorale (below).

What makes this performance so unique is what happens before any music starts playing—as the singers use their hands to mimic the sounds of rainfall.

Keep ReadingShow less

Teacher Lisa Conselatore isn't holding back.

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 87% of public schools say the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted students' socio-emotional development. Respondents have also said there has been a significant increase in student misconduct.

However, a teacher with 24 years of experience in the U.S. and abroad believes we are misplacing blame for this rise in misconduct. In a viral TikTok video with over 480,000 views, Lisa Conselatore claims that the big problem isn’t the pandemic but modern parenting.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parenting

Mom teaches son consent through non-verbal body language cues in brilliant video

She uses hugs to show enthusiastic consent and body language that says no.

Mom uses body language to teach son about consent

Fostering an environment where consent is expected and respected can be difficult if you don't quite know how to make it work. Consent has been a big conversation in society since the "Me Too" movement where people shared their stories of sexual assault or sexual violence. A theme began developing around consent and it became clear that not everyone understood what consent and non-consent looks like in a hormone-fueled moment.

This has led to parents trying to figure out the best ways to teach their children about verbal consent and enthusiastic consent. But there's one area that sometimes gets overlooked and one mom is taking to social media to show how she teachers her sons to recognize non-verbal body language that can mean consent and non-consent.

Kelsey Pomeroy, a mom of two boys, recently shared a video showing how she is teaching her children to not only listen for verbal consent but to look for signs of physical consent as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Mr. T and reporter Bobbie Wygant.

When Mr. T burst onto the pop culture landscape in the early ‘80s, he was a curious character, to say the least. People had a lot of questions about his name, copious amounts of gold jewelry and West African warrior hairstyle.

His personality was also intriguing. He was a tough guy but also a very thoughtful man of faith.

In 1983, when TV news reporter Bobbie Wygant asked him a rather rude question, Mr. T gave a very thoughtful response that showed that behind his larger-than-life persona, he understood the importance of humility.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

99-year-old swimmer just shattered the centenarian world record in the 400m freestyle

Betty Brussel didn't even start swimming competitively until her late-60s.

Jim De Ramos/Canva

Did you know that swim categories go beyond age 100?

It's common knowledge that as we age, our bodies change, and at some point, we aren't able to do the things we used to do.

But somebody forgot to tell Betty Brussel that.

In January of 2024, the 99-year-old Dutch-Canadian swimmer shattered the world record for the 400-meter freestyle swim at a swim meet in Saanich, British Columbia, completing the event in 12 minutes and 50.3 seconds—nearly four minutes faster than the previous record in the 100 to 104-year-old age group. (Though Brussel is currently 99, swimming competitions go by year of birth to determine age categories.)

Keep ReadingShow less