In Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Brendan Fraser first appears in the third act, but his outsized performance as lawyer W.S. Hamilton leaves a massive impression. The performance has gotten mixed online reactions, but the director himself has nothing but praise for it.
In a recent interview with LADBible (via Entertainment Weekly), Scorsese defended Fraser’s performance against online criticism. Since the film’s theatrical release on October 27, some online commentators have criticized it as over-the-top or too exaggerated. In his interview, Scorsese said that Fraser was “perfect” for the role, particularly praising him for his work in scenes opposite lead Leonardo DiCaprio.
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“We thought he’d be great for the lawyer, and I admired his work over the years,” Scorsese said. “He actually came in for I think a couple of weeks on the picture, particularly when it was in our later shoot. 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.’ He brought the whole scene down on Leo. 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.”
In “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Fraser’s character Hamilton is the lawyer for DiCaprio and Robert De Niro’s characters Ernest Burkhart and William Hale, defending them after they are arrested for their conspiracy to murder members of the Osage tribe. In his first scene in the film, he loudly screams, “This man is my client!” when Ernest is called in as a witness for Hale’s case, and his big line-reading received some criticism on social media.
In a post defending Fraser, Apple Films’ official Twitter account tweeted a highlighted passage of the 2017 David Grann book it is based on, which the scene is directly based upon, captioning the picture with “Note the exclamation point.”
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is Fraser’s first film after winning Best Actor at the Oscars this year for “The Whale.” The movie is currently playing in theaters nationwide.
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