Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek has won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role playing Freddie Mercury in biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
The critically and commercially successful film also won the Best Motion Picture – Drama award.
Sunday’s win was Malek’s first success at the Golden Globes, after two previous nominations.
He beat out big names including Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased) and John David Washington (BlacKKKlansman).
Malek has been widely praised for his portrayal of the rock icon in the film, and is currently up for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for the role.
Taking his Golden Globe, the actor gave thanks to Queen and to Mercury.
“Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime…I love you, you beautiful man. This is for you, and because of you, gorgeous,” Malek said in his acceptance speech.
Born in 1981 in California to Egyptian parents, Malek is a film and television actor whose previous roles include the family action film Night at the Museum and the independent film Short Term 12.
His breakthrough role was as vigilante hacker Elliot Anderson in the television series Mr. Robot, which earned him a Critics’ Choice Award and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
He has also appeared in television shows The War at Home, The Pacific, 24, and voice acted in animated series BoJack Horseman.
Malek has spoken fondly of his Egyptian roots in numerous interviews, saying that his father brought him up connected to Egyptian culture and their extended family in the town of Samalut.
He also noted how he fought against being type-cast in Hollywood because of his Arab roots, and hopes his success can pave the way for more diversity in the industry.
In 2017, he accepted an invitation to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in an effort to push for diversity among its members, after widespread criticism regarding lack of diversity of the 88th Academy Awards.
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