Rami Malek Makes Oscar History



Sierra Flessel, Staff Writer

At the 2019 Academy Awards, thirty-seven-year-old Rami Malek made Oscar history by becoming the first person of Egyptian descent to win a performative category.

During his acceptance speech for Best Actor, a humbled Malek stated, “I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I am a first-generation American, and part of my story is being written right now and I could not be more grateful.” He concluded his speech with an emotional, “this moment is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Malek earned his win for portraying rock legend Freddie Mercury in the 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. While the film itself received mass amounts of criticism for an inaccurate portrayal of real-life events and the glossing over of Mercury’s sexuality, Malek’s performance stole the hearts of moviegoers. Malek swept awards season leading up to the Oscars, winning the Best Actor category in almost every major awards show. Malek was victorious at the Golden Globes, SAG awards, and the BAFTAs. Malek won over other well-known actors such as Bradley Cooper, who played Jackson Maine in an adaptation of A Star Is Born, and Christian Bale who underwent a full body transformation for his role as Dick Cheney in Vice.

Before Malek was an Academy Award winner, he started off in television and movies as minor characters, such as Andy in Gilmore Girls and Benjamin in the Twilight series. Malek’s career expanded with his role in the Night at the Museum franchise, playing the mummy, Ahkmenrah. Malek’s breakout role was starring as Elliot Alderson, a socially anxious, vigilant computer hacker on a mission to bring down corporate America. Malek stars alongside Christian Slater and BD Wong in the critically acclaimed, award-winning show, Mr. Robot. Malek won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2016 for his work in the show. The show is set to air its fourth and final season sometime this fall.

Malek is now using his platform to bring awareness to causes that are important to him. In September 2018, he partnered with the RED organization after being inspired in his role as Freddie Mercury. He is now an ambassador for the organization, working to bring awareness and funding to bring an end to HIV/AIDS. With his monumental win, Malek is also able to open the door for aspiring minority and immigrant actors and actresses to let them know that no matter their background, they have the chance to be successful.

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