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Ahead of the Venice Film Festival premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” it feels like the entire world is rooting for Brendan Fraser this upcoming Oscar season. It’s hard to recall a recent performer entering the awards race with a wave of support from industry and consumer audiences. Instead, everyone just wants to see Fraser succeed.

While we anticipate reviews declaring Fraser’s worthiness of acclaim and Oscar attention, one point should not be lost: He has always been a gifted actor and a bonafide movie star.

With his deep voice and tall stature, the American-Canadian actor began his career charming movie fans everywhere as the resurrected frozen caveman Link in 90s classic comedy “Encino Man.”

He then showed his dramatic acting chops with characters like a Jewish high school student who experiences antisemitism in “School Ties” or a Harvard student who befriends a homeless man (Joe Pesci) in “With Honors.”

Never holding back on the laughs, he rocked out as Chazz in “Airheads” and changed the devil’s heart in “Bedazzled.” Then, he seemed to own the world when he took the lead role of adventurer Rick O’Connell in “The Mummy” franchise.

All of this is just the tip of the Fraser iceberg, and now it looks like the world will see what lies beneath on Sept. 4 with “The Whale.”

It was 2008 when Darren Aronofsky brought “The Wrestler” to the 65th Venice International Film Festival, where it premiered before heading off to Toronto, receiving universal acclaim. Film critic David Ansen of Newsweek would pen the pull quote featured on the film’s poster and become the bedrock of the awards campaign: “Witness the resurrection of Mickey Rourke in Darren Aronofsky’s deeply affecting film.”

Aronofsky has had a knack for reminding the world about the brilliance of performers such as Rourke, Ellen Burstyn in “Requiem for a Dream” and Hugh Jackman in “The Fountain.” Can the ultimate nice guy finish first this year?

Fraser was set to play the villain Garfield Lynns ,a.k.a. Firefly, in the now-canceled “Batgirl” movie for Warner Bros. But that shouldn’t derail his comeback. Aside from “The Whale,” next on Fraser’s docket is a role in “Palm Springs” director Max Barbakow’s sophomore feature “Brothers” alongside Josh Brolin, Glenn Close and Peter Dinklage. He’ll also be under the thumb of Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese with “Killers of the Flower Moon” from Apple Original Films in 2023, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jesse Plemons.

Read Variety’s list of his 12 best performances and the best scene from each of the selections.

Also, visit Variety Awards Circuit’s Oscar predictions to read where Brendan Fraser ranks among this year’s contenders.

Honorable mentions: “Now and Then” (1995); “Gimme Shelter” (2013); “No Sudden Move” (2021)