"Wow, this is new for me because normally I am the guy at the podium who hands these things out," Fraser said. "I think that the last time I waited to hear my name called out loud to receive an award was in grade 4 and it was from the peewee bowling league."
The 53-year-old actor, who underwent a huge physical transformation to play a 600-lb. man in the film, has been collecting awards for the role and recently received a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice International Film Festival.
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Director Darren Aronofsky and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter presented the award to Fraser, who said, "The Whale, it's a redemption story about a guy called Charlie. And he's gone through significant life changes and he's 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 can see the good in others when they can't see that in themselves," said Fraser. "He can bring that out in in them, and I am a firm believer that we need a little more of that in this world."
Also honored at the Fairmount Royal York Hotel dinner was The Swimmers director Sally El Hosaini, actress Michelle Yeoh and director Sam Mendes. The first honor of the night went to Harry Styles and the cast of My Policeman. Styles gave a quick acceptance speech telling the crowd, "We all loved making this film so much, and we hope you enjoy it."
The Whale premieres Dec. 9 in theaters.