Brendan Fraser's Kids Threw a Surprise Celebration After His Oscar Nomination — & It's a Total ‘Core Memory’

Brendan Fraser’s Oscar nomination was made even more special by the secret celebration planned by his three sons. The actor received his first nomination (and for Best Actor, no less!) for his performance in The Whale. His boys, Griffin, 20, Holden, 18, and Leland, 16 were not going to let the milestone go unmarked.

When Fraser heard the news, he told Extra he was “astonished” and then surprised by his sons who had cake and balloons at the ready.

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“They sneaked into the house, they had a plan,” he said. “That and the feeling that sharing that moment with my loved ones is now a core memory of mine.”

We have to imagine another core memory is when Holden and Leland (who totally have their dad’s eyes!) made a rare red carpet appearance with him for the premiere of The Whale in November.

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The secret celebration happened last week when nominations were announced, and Fraser told PEOPLE he is “absolutely overjoyed” and “deeply grateful” to The Academy.

“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 said. “A gift I certainly didn’t see coming, but it’s one that has profoundly changed my life. Thank you!”

Fraser co-parents his children with his ex-wife Afton Smith, who he co-starred with in George of the Jungle. In a recent interview with Drew Barrymore, he told the fellow single parent that a strong relationship with an ex makes all the difference for kids: “Have a great relationship with your partner, and that way you’ll never not put your kids first.”

The actor is no stranger to talking openly about fatherhood. He has also told Entertainment Tonight that it has had a huge impact on his career.

“I spent the first, I don’t know, 25 years of my career or so making films that I generated all the hope and aspiration and joy from what I believed to be coming from a character or a screenplay, and then some alchemy happens when you have kids and suddenly everything clicks,” he said. “It somehow raises the stakes and somehow, for me at least, increases the authenticity of what we do.”

Before you go, check out these hot, famous dads.

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