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Academy Awards 2019: Rami Malek’s beautiful message to anyone struggling with their identity

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The actor just picked up an Oscar for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.     

As Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek has been one of the most decorated actors of awards season.

He has picked up every single major award since the Golden Globes, from Screen Actors Guild Awards to BAFTAs, and now he has an Oscar under his belt, too. It’s the first little gold man for the American-Egyptian actor, and the power of winning for portraying such an iconic figure in music was not lost on Malek.

The 37-year-old started off his speech by shouting out his mum. “I love you lady,” he said. “Thank you for all of this. You know my dad didn’t get to see me do any of this but I think he’s looking down on me right now. This is a monumental moment.” 

After thanking his co-stars and the original members of Queen, Malek took the opportunity to share a message to those watching who might be struggling with their identity and themselves.

“Thank you Queen, for letting me be a part of your extraordinary legacy. I am forever in your debt,” Malek said. “I may not have been the obvious choice [for Freddie Mercury], but I guess it worked out.”

“I think about what it would have been like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him,” Malek mused. “I think his curly-haired little mind would be blown. That kid was struggling with his identity trying to figure himself out, and I think anyone struggling with theirs trying to find their voice: we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically himself.”

“The fact that I am celebrating him and this story tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this.” 

Rami Malek is the first actor of Egyptian origin to win an Oscar

For Malek, the message of the film couldn’t be closer to home. “I am the son of immigrants from Egypt,” Malek explained. “I’m a first generation American, and part of my story is being written right now and I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of you and everyone who believed in me for this moment. This is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Finally, Malek concluded with a shoutout to his Bohemian Rhapsody co-star and new girlfriend Lucy Boynton.

“You’re the heart of this film, you are beyond immensely talented and you have captured my heart,” Malek said. “Thank you so much.” 

Boynton and Malek as his name was announced

Bohemian Rhapsody was the most awarded film of the night, picking up four Oscars including one for Malek. The film also received awards for Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and Best Editing. 

Brit Nina Hartstone, Sound Editor on Bohemian Rhapsody, became the first European woman to win an Oscar in the history of the category.

“Rami gave such a great performance with such amazing physicality,” Hartstone has said of her work on the film “The big challenge was making it sound like his voice all the way through the movie. The sheer privilege of working with Freddie’s vocals was really exciting for me.”

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.

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