Brendan Fraser Crashes ‘The Mummy’ London Screening on Tuesday Night. – PEOPLE


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"We had no idea what kind of movie we were making when we shot this," the actor admitted to the audience, who gave him a standing ovation

Published on January 25, 2023 10: 24 AM

Brendan Fraser is celebrating his film roots.

The Academy Award-nominated star — who is currently wowing audiences in his new film The Whale — surprised a packed house in a London theater about to show his hit 1999 adventure film The Mummy on Friday night.

Fraser, 54, was met with loud cheers and a standing ovation after being introduced right before the movie began at the Prince Charles Cinema, much to the actor's delight.

"I am proud to stand before you tonight," Fraser began. "This is a film that was made in Britain. You should know that! ... Even the second one, too."

"Be proud. Thank you for being here," he continued.

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Brendan Fraser.
The Prince Charles Cinema/YouTube

Fraser — who was wearing a leather jacket, khakis and boots reminiscent of his character Rick O'Connell from the movie — revealed to the crowd that while they were filming The Mummy, they weren't sure how the film would turn out.

"We had no idea what kind of movie we were making when we shot this," he said. "We didn't know if it was a drama or a comedy or a straight-ahead action, romance, horror picture … all the above?"

"[We had] no idea until it tested in front of British audiences," he added, as the audience let out a collective chuckle. "Thank you for that."

Fraser certainly has a lot to smile about these days. On Tuesday, the star earned his first Oscar nomination for his performance in The Whale, which comes out in the U.K. on Feb 3.

The actor was named among the five nominees for Best Actor, recognized for his performance in The Whale. The drama was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for costar Hong Chau and Best Makeup & Hairstyling for the team that transformed Fraser into his 600-lb. character, Charlie.

Brendan Fraser.
Amy Sussman/Getty

Fraser reacted to the news in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, saying he is "absolutely overjoyed and deeply grateful to The Academy for this recognition and for recognizing Hong Chau's beautiful performance and Adrien Morot's incredible makeup."

"I wouldn't have this nomination without [director] Darren Aronofsky, [writer] Samuel D. Hunter, A24 and the extraordinary cast and crew who gave me the gift of Charlie," the actor continued. "A gift I certainly didn't see coming, but it's one that has profoundly changed my life. THANK YOU!"

Also nominated in the category are Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Bill Nighy (Living).

Fraser, who also received Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, won the Critics Choice Award earlier this month, getting emotional in his acceptance speech.

He described The Whale as a film "about love," adding, "It's about redemption. It's about finding the light in a dark place, and I'm so lucky to have worked with an ensemble that is incredible."

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