After what can only be described as one of the more epic career comebacks in Hollywood, the beloved actor (who many millennial fans know from films like
George of the Jungle
) took home the trophy for Best Lead Actor during Sunday Night's 95th annual Academy Awards — and he did so for playing a gay role.
One of the more
headline-generating (and controversial)
films from this award season's batch of titles,
tells the story of a solitary, gay, 600-pound English professor named Charlie who is trying to reconnect with his biological daughter despite being estranged from his family after falling in love with another man. Though lots of conversations have been had about
the film's problematic and fatphobic source material
(the film is based on Samuel D. Hunter's stage play of the same name), Fraser's portrayal as the queer main character has been praised as the performance of a lifetime by audiences and critics — and it all paid off this awards season.
"Charlie is so much more than just a gay man," Fraser told
at the Oscars press room when asked about bringing a voice to a complicated queer character like Charlie in
. "He's a father, he's an educator, he's a truth seeker, and that he fell hopelessly, inconveniently in love with whomever is immaterial."
"He's someone who found love, lost it, and then found it again. I think that's something that we can all take a page from. With perseverance, if you put one foot in front of the other like Charlie did, go to the light — believe me, if I can do it, you can too — good things will happen."