Is this the real life? Rami Malek is halfway to an EGOT. Malek won the Academy Award for Best Actor Sunday for his performance as Queen singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, beating out Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe and Viggo Mortensen to win the award.
"I may not have been the obvious choice, but I guess it worked out," Malek, who is a first-generation American whose parents arrived in the country from Egypt, said during his emotional acceptance speech. He is the first actor of Arab descent to win Best Actor.
"I think about what it would have been like to tell little baba Rami that one day this might happen to him, and I think his curly-haired little mind might have been blown," he said. "That kid was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out, and I think to anyone who may be struggling with their identity, listen, we made [a film about a gay immigrant ... it is proof that we're longing for stories like this. 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."
Malek's win is a bit controversial, as Bohemian Rhapsody's director, Bryan Singer, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple men (claims Singer has denied), which has cast a dark cloud over the film in the minds of many. Singer was fired from the film during production, though not because of the misconduct claims. Singer was not present at the ceremony, and Malek did not acknowledge him in his acceptance speech, nor did any other Bohemian Rhapsody winners.
Bohemian Rhapsody also won awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
For his performance as Mercury, Malek previously won a Golden Globe, a SAG and a BAFTA. This was his first Oscar nomination. He won an Emmy in 2016 for his performance on the TV show Mr. Robot.