Brendan Fraser To Receive TIFF Tribute Award for Performance

Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Courtesy of A24.

The Toronto International Film Festival announced that Brendan Fraser will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance.

TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey announced this morning that the actor would be honored for his performance in A24’s coming film, The Whale. The TIFF Tribute Awards presented by BVLGARI will return to an in-person gala fundraiser during the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, September 11 at Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The TIFF Tribute Award for Performance is presented by IMDbPro.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Fraser has received recognition for his work by both critics and his peers. Known for playing Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy, Fraser has gone on to star in many projects in both television and film. Fraser will make his return to Toronto with Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which will have its North American Premiere at this year’s Festival.

Brendan Fraser gives a performance of staggering depth, power, and nuance in The Whale,” said Bailey, TIFF CEO. “This former Torontonian has been an action star, a screen comic, and a romantic lead. We’re thrilled to welcome him home as the actor behind one of the finest performances of the year.”

Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale tells the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. The A24 film is based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter and also stars Sadie SinkHong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton. It is being distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures.

The TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro to Fraser is one of two acting awards being handed out. These two awards recognize an outstanding performance by either an individual or ensemble in the now gender-neutral acting category. Fraser joins the recently announced recipients of the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by Polestar, the ensemble of My Policeman. Past recipients honored in the prestigious acting category were Jessica Chastain and Benedict Cumberbatch in 2021; Kate Winslet and Sir Anthony Hopkins in 2020; and Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix in 2019.

Also joining the list of 2022 TIFF Tribute Award honorees Academy Award–winning filmmaker Sam Mendes who will be receiving the TIFF Ebert Director Award. The TIFF Tribute Awards have served as an awards-season bellwether, with past honourees such as Chastain, Hopkins, Phoenix, Roger Deakins, Taika Waititi, and Chloé Zhao going on to win awards on the international stage. Once again, the TIFF Tribute Awards honor the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator. The Awards gala event also serves as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s Every Story fund, which promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in film and TIFF’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. More information on the event and honourees will follow in the coming weeks.


Born in Indianapolis and raised in Europe and Canada, Brendan Fraser has been honing his craft since the early age of 12, spending his career transitioning from smart independent films to action-packed blockbusters. In addition to the Mummy franchise, Fraser starred and served as Executive Producer in The New Line/Warner Bros.‘ Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3-D; Lionsgate’s Academy Award–winning Best Picture Crash; Phillip Noyce’s The Quiet American, based on Graham Greene’s 1955 thriller of the same name; and Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters, opposite Sir Ian McKellen and Lynn Redgrave. Up next is Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale; Legendary Pictures’ Brothers, where he stars alongside Glenn Close, Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage; and a supporting role in Martin Scorsese’s new Epic Western, Killers of The Flower Moon. Fraser has also had successful roles on television, starring alongside Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro in Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move for HBO Max. He can be seen in the hit HBO Max/DC Entertainment series Doom Patrol, where he stars as Cliff Steele and is the voice of Robotman. Additional television credits include Line of DescentThe Affair, and Condor, among others.

In addition to his film and television work, Fraser’s diverse theater roster includes an appearance at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London, in the West End production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He made his Broadway debut, starring in the comedy Elling, based on the Norwegian novels by Ingvar Ambjørnsen.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, IMDbPro sponsors this year’s TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro in addition to the TIFF Short Cuts Awards presented by IMDbPro. The 2022 IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards are for Best Film, Best Canadian Film, and the Share Her Journey Award for best film by a woman.

The 2022 Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8-18-2022.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.