A few hours ago, something beyond amazing happened: Rami Malek became the first Egyptian to win an Academy Award. In his acceptance speech, Malek proudly stated that he is “the son of immigrants from Egypt.”
Malek, of course, won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, thanks to his iconic performance as Freddie Mercury in the musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
Malek was phenomenal as Mercury, to the extent that we doubt we can ever see him as just Elliot from Mr. Robot, without recalling Freddy Mercury. While winning an Oscar is by far Malek’s most significant achievement, it is more than necessary to mention that Malek managed to win a SAG, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
What’s also important to note is the fact that Malek managed to triumph over Christian Bale, who was nominated for his role in Vice (2018); Bradley Cooper, nominated for A Star Is Born (2018); Viggo Mortensen, nominated for his performance in Green Book (2018); and Willem Dafoe, nominated for his role in At Eternity’s Gate (2018).
Believe it or not, this is the first Egyptian actor to win an Oscar; Omar Sharif was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) but did not win.