Just like Emmy awards in 2016, Rami Malek won Oscar for Best Actor at the 91st Annual Academy Awards 2019 for his performance as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Malek was considered the frontrunner in the category after winning Best Actor prizes at the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and British Academy Film Awards.
The actor beat out fellow nominees, including Christian Bale in Vice, Bradley Cooper as musician Jack Maine in A Star Is Born, Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate, and Viggo Mortensen in Green Book.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic of British rock act Queen, with a focus on its lead singer, Mercury, who died in 1991 from Aids-related illness.
Before Bohemian Rhapsody, Malek was best known for his role in the award-winning TV series Mr. Robot, in which he played hacker Elliot Alderson.
When he took the stage to accept the award, Malek said:
“I think about what it would’ve been like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him, and I think his curly-haired little mind would be blown.”
“That kid was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out. I think to anyone struggling with theirs and trying to find their voice, listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself.
“The fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you…is proof that we’re longing for stories like this.”
The actor also thanked Queen for letting him ‘be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy.’
“I am the son of immigrants from Egypt, a first-generation American. And part of my story is being written right now. And I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you, and everyone who believed in me for this moment. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
Bohemian Rhapsody managed Malek’s victory for Best Actor despite being directed by Bryan Singer, who was at the center of sexual misconduct allegations.
Singer was fired from the film a few weeks before its production ended because of unruly behavior, which allegedly included disappearing from the set and engaging in fights with Malek. Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher.
When asked by the Los Angeles Times about Singer’s alleged history of abuse, Malek said:
“As far as I knew, I was considered before Bryan was even attached. So I had my head down preparing for this for about a year ahead of time, and I never really looked up.”