Pauly Shore is well aware that this year’s crop of Oscar nominees includes two of his former co-stars from his 1992 teen comedy Encino Man, which has some laughs, yes, but is not exactly Oscar bait. (Shore’s Razzie appears to be the only award he won.) And he’s ecstatic for Brendan Fraser, who played a frozen caveman that Shore’s character, Stoney Brown, found in his backyard and brought back to life, who is being recognized in the Best Actor category for his work in The Whale; the same goes for Ke Huy Quan, who plays a smaller role in Encino Man and who, come Sunday, may very well be named Best Supporting Actor for his performance Everything Everywhere All at Once.
“It’s quite remarkable,” Shore said in a message that aired on Friday’s edition of Good Morning America (starting at about 2:25 in the video below). “It’s an insane story… what a comeback! It’s almost like they were in Encino Man, they defogged them and they’re coming back to life. Anyways, I’m gonna binge-watch the movie this weekend, Encino Man, simultaneously watching to see who’s gonna take home the award. Congratulations guys! Good luck, fellas!”
Shore even blew them a kiss.
A day earlier, he shared a sweet message with Fraser and Quan on social media.
Shore’s heartfelt post included a link to an interview he had done with Slate, in which he offered even more support.
“I’m not surprised, because at the end of the day, talent wins. Brendan was just so fortunate that this director went in there and knighted him and hit him in the head with a little pixie dust or whatever, and Brendan stepped up , and he had the emotion and he had the layers and he became this character. And I’m very proud of him,” Shore said. “Both of the guys are — all their heart comes out in these characters. And that’s what it’s really about, is connecting with people with your heart. And they both accomplished it. So, whether they win, whether they don’t win, they’ve already won to me, because they did great work.”
Fraser, who played the critical role of the caveman and was often his scene partner, especially, received a shoutout.
“He became the character. That’s what a good actor does,” Shore said. “He’s not doing a caricature of — he didn’t do a caricature of either of the roles [in Encino Man or The Whale]. That’s why he was so good at it Encino Man. That’s why the comedy popped off him and why the story worked, because he locks into these characters. I know Ben Stiller auditioned [for Fraser’s part in Encino Man]and a lot of people were wanting to play that role, but you need a real actor to play a caveman so it doesn’t look stupid.”
In fact, Shore confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment in June 2022 that the higher-ups initially wanted Him to play the caveman role. He said no, because he had a signature way of speaking, as anyone who’s seen any of his movies or footage from his days as an MTV VJ knows, which just wouldn’t have worked for that. The caveman, named Link, mostly grunts.
“I said, ‘Cavemen don’t speak. I have my own style,'” Shore said. “So we went and rewrote one of the roles and made it feel more like my MTV thing, with some heart.”
The actor, 55, was asked, too, whether he imagined himself making a similar kind of comeback.
“I’m at that age now where I think with the right role, with the right director, with the right script, doing something against type would be really exciting,” he told Slate. “I think I would get a lot of attention doing something dramatic. I did something on my channel called Sin City Psycho. It’s a 10-minute short where I play a sociopath, and it’s totally against type. So yeah, my story’s no different than anyone’s story. Everyone wants that opportunity to get that call from [acclaimed The Whale director] Darren Aronofsky.”
For now, Shore said that he and at least one other co-star from Encino ManSean Astin, are interested in doing a sequel.