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Brendan Fraser inspires students at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Brendan Fraser was honored Tuesday evening with Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s coveted American Riviera Award.

The first thing he did when he arrived at the Arlington Theater was wave to the fans who were waiting in the cold just to catch a glimpse of their childhood hero.

Fans love Fraser from a wide variety of comedy and fantasy leading roles including “Encino Man,” “George of the Jungle,” and “The Mummy” franchise.

“George in the Jungle formed my entire being as a child… “Blast from the Past,” “The Mummy.” Do you want me to keep doing this like rattling off his IMDB?” said actress Taylor Misiak.

Two decades later, he’s been nominated for an Oscar for his role as Charlie in “The Whale.”

“Just to see him come back and get the spotlight he deserves and to get the recognition he deserves as a great actor. I’m really thrilled for him and his life and yeah for just this new chapter in his life,” said life long fan Johnny Alvarez.

“The Whale” marks a huge departure from Fraser’s earlier work as it tackles themes like queerness, isolation, depression, grief, and obesity.

But fans are eating this up.

“It’s a lesson that everybody can do whatever they want, you know. You don’t have to be put in a box,” said Taylor Misiak.

Brendan did not get the chance to talk to fans or reporters, but he did get the chance to inspire some students.

“We asked him about advice that he would give to students and he was very sweet about it. And he was very into the questions and he complimented the questions I asked him and it was just overall like an amazing experience,” said DP News Student Rebecca Lemon.

Santa Barbara High School Student Parker Hand described what it was like interviewing his childhood idol, saying it was very scary but he was relieved after he finished the interview.

It’s clear that Brendan Fraser’s impact in cinema is far reaching, as both students and rising stars alike have been inspired by his lighthearted and heartfelt performances.

A teary eyed Brendan Fraser was greeted with a standing ovation inside the Arlington Theater. he’s a huge contender to win this year’s Oscar.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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