Martin Scorsese Has Defended Brendan Fraser’s Killers Of The Flower Moon Performance, And I Hope This Puts An End To The Debate


After Brendan Fraser joined the list of 2023 Oscar winners for his acclaimed performance in The Whale, he continued The Brenaissance by appearing in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon as the lawyer of Robert De Niro’s character. However, despite the historical drama’s incredible reviews, some are criticizing The Mummy star’s performance in the film. Now, the director has defended the actor while speaking about their movie, and I really hope his kind words put an end to this debate. 

Criticism surrounding Fraser’s performance as lawyer W.S. Hamilton stems from people calling it “baffling,” and claiming that it feels “cartoonish,” per Lad Bible. While some found his role in the movie over the top, many came to the actor’s defense, including Scorsese, who said:

We had a really good time working together, particularly with Leo. Particularly in the scene where he says, ‘They’re putting a noose around your neck, he’s saving you dumb boy.’ Really for us, when we heard that [line]…he brought the whole scene down on Leo.

Fraser appears in the scene where DiCaprio’s cheracter Ernest takes the stand to testify against his uncle (who is played by Robert DeNiro). The 2023 Best Actor Oscar winner plays the lawyer defending De Niro’s character, and he works really hard to clear the man’s name, despite him being 100% guilty. As the director said, The Whale star “brought the whole scene down on Leo,” and added intensity to it. To this, Martin Scorsese explained why he felt the performer was a good choice for the role of the defender, saying:

We thought he’d be great for the lawyer and I admired his work over the years. He actually came in for I think a couple of weeks on the picture, particularly when it was in our later shoot. … It was perfect, and he had that girth. He’s big in the frame at that time. He’s a wonderful actor, and he was just great to work with.

It’s hard to argue with Martin Scorsese’s high praise. He’s worked with the best of the best, and hearing him speak so highly of Brendan Fraser shows just how talented the actor is. However, to many of us that talent has been clear for a long time, and these kind words from the director are simply an added bonus, and enough to put this debate about Fraser’s performance to rest. 

Killers of the Flower Moon is a captivating big-screen experience, and Fraser’s character (and his acting choices) add intensity to the climactic scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character testifies against De Niro’s. He’s commanding and loud, and it adds a new dynamic to the film. Honestly, I don’t see why people felt the need to criticize the Academy Award-winning actor and his performance. To me, he was giving the same level of commitment as the leads of the film, and he fit right in. Clearly, Martin Scorsese agrees with this notion too.  

If you want to go see the film that will likely be among some of Apple TV+’s best movies, you can currently catch Killers of the Flowers Moon in theaters. It will also be available through an Apple TV+ subscription in the near future. 

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