Brendan Fraser Says Golden Globe Would Have Been a “Hood Ornament,” Dismisses Boycott on His Behalf: “It’s My Fight”
Brendan Fraser still doesn’t know if his Golden Globes nomination for The Whale was cynical or genuine, but either way, he says the win wouldn’t have been “meaningful to me.”
During his first-ever appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Brendan Fraser opened up about his feelings on his nomination following the actual Golden Globes ceremony and addressed whether he believes others should join a Hollywood boycott of the awards institution in support of him.
“I don’t need everyone to stand in solidarity with me,” the actor said, adding that he believes this is his fight and “no one else’s.” But Fraser did acknowledge standing with him in his demands for real reform at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would be a big — though optically complicated — step. “It would be a leap of faith for whoever that would be,” he explained. “It would be a calculated risk and it could also be trivialized very easily by the cynical view of this all.”
The Oscar nominee was not in attendance at the January awards show after previously sharing that the HFPA had not reconciled or apologized to him in a meaningful way after he was allegedly groped by a now-expelled member. “Honestly, my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite, and I didn’t wanna sit and feel like I really don’t know if I want this,” he told Stern.
And while the actor didn’t win, he said getting the honor — which ultimately went to Elvis’ Austin Butler — not only meant so little to him, it also left him “wondering is this a cynical nomination.”
“I couldn’t really tell because of my history with them and that I still have yet to see the results from their reformation. We all are still awaiting that, to tell you the truth,” Fraser explained. “Get it or don’t get it, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it would mean nothing to me. I don’t want it. I didn’t ask to be considered even, that was presumed.”
For Fraser, it may have also been a moment of vindication. “They needed me, I didn’t need them,” he said. “Where am I gonna put that hood ornament? What would I do with that?”
As for how the HFPA may be able to “make amends” and repair its relationship with the Whale star, Fraser said it should start with issuing “an apology that made sense.” It would also involve sharing the investigation that they conducted around his complaints, “that they did into me and my family and my friends.”
“I never saw the result of that report. They wouldn’t give it to me, they said, no, it’s ours. So whatever’s in it, they don’t want me to read it,” he continued. “Instead I was given a press release that said it was a joke.”
While Fraser remains firm in his boycott of the press group behind the Golden Globes, he says he honestly doesn’t “even wanna think about [the nomination] that much.” Instead, he took the time to celebrate one thing he believes was a step in the right direction for the awarding body.
“The good news is, they did something important in that broadcast and it changed my thinking about them: They put [Ukrainian President] Zelensky front and center,” the actor said. “They let him have the stage, and that’s a powerful statement and something I can get behind and support.”
At another point in the interview, Fraser spoke to Stern about Warner Bros. Disocvery’s decision to axe its HBO Max Batgirl movie before it was finished. The actor, who was set to play the film’s villain, said it was a part he “relished” and was “very, very good on paper.”
“It was a story about a guy who had been in the service and his benefits were cut and he was very angry with system, and what else was he going to do but burn it to the ground?” Fraser said, visibly excited about the part. “You’ve got some sympathy to him. You’ve also got some humanity to him and on top of that a screw loose because you know he’s a bad guy. But is he really? All the best bad guys, you kind of like them a little bit.”
But when Stern asks whether the film will get a release, Fraser — who says he has not seen it, though he has friends, co-workers and associates who have — reveals he’s not sure, before defending the film against reports that it tested poorly with audiences.
“They all say really good things about it. But the thing about it was is, it was screened in a garden variety test screening. It was a director’s cut. First cut. It wasn’t finished. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t eat half-baked cake. I don’t want to see something that’s not ready yet,” he said. “And the sad thing is, is that I don’t know if it was judged on merit. It wasn’t shown in the best light that it could have had been.”
He goes on to say that once the completed film is out in the world, “it’s open season to criticize it or praise it,” but returns to the idea that “this didn’t even really get a fair shake.” But there’s another reason why Fraser is disappointed Batgirl’s release future is dim and it has more to do with star Leslie Grace, who the actor called “really terrific” and a “dynamo.”
“Little girls are going to have to wait longer now before they can see a Batgirl who they can identify,” he said. “That says, ‘Hey, she looks just like me, too,’ in Leslie Grace.”