Brendan Fraser Says Oscar Nomination Is a 'Gift I Certainly Didn't See Coming': 'Changed My Life'

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Brendan Fraser attends "The Whale" New York Screening at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Brendan Fraser attends "The Whale" New York Screening at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser is grateful for his latest nomination.

The actor scored an Oscar nomination, his first, on Tuesday when he was named among the five nominees for Best Actor, recognized for his performance in The Whale. The drama was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for costar Hong Chau and Best Makeup and Hairstyling for the team that transformed Fraser into his 600-lb. character Charlie.

Fraser, 54, reacted to the news in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, saying he is "absolutely overjoyed and deeply grateful to The Academy for this recognition and for recognizing Hong Chau's beautiful performance and Adrien Morot's incredible makeup."

"I wouldn't have this nomination without [director] Darren Aronofsky, [writer] Samuel D. Hunter, A24 and the extraordinary cast and crew who gave me the gift of Charlie," the actor continued. "A gift I certainly didn't see coming, but it's one that has profoundly changed my life. THANK YOU!"

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Hong Chau and Brendan Fraser at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Awards held at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 5, 2023 in Palm Springs, California.
Hong Chau and Brendan Fraser at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Awards held at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 5, 2023 in Palm Springs, California.

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Hong Chau and Brendan Fraser

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Also nominated in the category are Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Bill Nighy (Living).

Fraser, who also received Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, won the Critics Choice Award earlier this month, getting emotional in his acceptance speech. He described The Whale as a film "about love," adding, "It's about redemption. It's about finding the light in a dark place, and I'm so lucky to have worked with an ensemble that is incredible."

RELATED VIDEO: Brendan Fraser Discusses How Obesity and Acceptance is Presented in The Whale

"And Darren Aronofsky, I was in the wilderness — and I probably should've 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 me where I needed to be," Fraser added.

The Mummy actor concluded, "If you — 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."