For his role as the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek has officially made history, becoming the first actor of Arab origin to snag an Oscar for best actor.
In a speech that began with numerable humble thank yous, the 37-year-old actor framed himself as the ultimate underdog, saying “I may not have been the obvious choice, but I guess it worked out,” before calling the win a “monumental moment” and thanking his mother, who was sat in the crowds, and his father who was “looking down [on him]”.
“I think about what it would have 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,” Malek said, in celebration of his win. “That kid was struggling with his identity.”
“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” he continued, “The fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this.”
This was Malek’s first Oscar nomination and win, and followed in the footsteps of the Los-Angeles-born actor’s recent Golden Globe award for Best Actor for the same role.