"I want to tell you that only whales can swim at the depth of the talent of Hong Chau," Fraser said while accepting his Best Actor Oscar.
Brendan Fraser in 'The Whale'

Brendan Fraser kept it on theme while winning Best Actor at the 2023 Oscars.

The Whale star couldn't stop referencing whales, the ocean, and other nautical things while accepting his first Academy Award during Sunday night's ceremony. After thanking the Academy and A24, the studio behind the film, Fraser dove into some watery metaphors, saying, "I'm grateful to Darren Aronofsky for throwing me a creative lifeline and hauling me aboard the good ship The Whale that was written by Samuel D. Hunter, who is our lighthouse."

Brendan Fraser wins the Best Actor at the 2023 Oscars
'The Whale' star Brendan Fraser wins Best Actor at the 2023 Oscars
| Credit: ABC

Fraser then addressed his fellow Best Actor nominees in the crowd, Austin Butler for Elvis, Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin, Paul Mescal for Aftersun, and Bill Nighy for Living. "Gentlemen, you laid your whale-sized hearts to bare so we could see into your souls like no one else could do," he said. "It is my honor to be named alongside you in this category."

The actor then gave kudos to The Whale cast with more sea-themed references. "I want to tell you that only whales can swim at the depth of the talent of Hong Chau," Fraser said. "I started in this business 30 years ago, and things didn't come easily to me, but there was a facility that I didn't appreciate at the time until it stopped. I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgment because it couldn't be done without my cast."

He went on to thank all his loved ones, including his "best first mate," with more ocean analogies: "It's been like a bit of a diving expedition at the bottom of the ocean and the air on the line to the surface is ... being watched over by some people in my life."

The 95th Academy Awards aired live Sunday night from the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles. See the full list of 2023 Oscars winners.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights leading up to all the major award shows.

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Brendan Fraser in 'The Whale'
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