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Rami Malek: An Oscar champion, my friends

Agence France-Presse
From Elliot in 'Mr Robot' to roles in 'Night at the Museum' and 'Twilight,' the actor is now known as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

SHINING MOMENT. Rami Malek poses in the press room during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. The actor wins for his role as Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP

HOLLYWOOD, USA – Rami Malek transformed his look, gait and accent to portray iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody – an all-in performance that has catapulted him onto Hollywood’s A-list and into Oscar history.

Malek, 37, on Sunday rode his Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild success to the pinnacle of Tinseltown’s award season, snatching the Academy Award for best actor in a showdown with Christian Bale (Vice).

“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” Malek said.

“The fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this,” he added, noting for the audience that he is “a first-generation American” of Egyptian descent.

Malek’s win seemed unlikely at the outset, given that he was about the only constant in the film’s troubled road to the big screen: stars dropping out, director Bryan Singer departing mid-production, lackluster reviews. (READ: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ rocks Golden Globes with surprise coda)

But he likely sealed the deal – even despite the much-maligned prosthetic teeth he wears in the film – with his preening, foot-stomping recreation of Mercury’s electric performance at Live Aid in 1985, which audiences loved.

The film was also a commercial success, raking in more than $820 million worldwide. 

“Thank you to Freddie Mercury for giving me the joy of a lifetime. I love you, you beautiful man. This is for and because of you, gorgeous,” Malek said at the Golden Globes in January.

Malek also bested Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) and Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate).

Pharaohs, hackers and typecasting 

Before all the attention from BoRhap – as it’s known in Tinseltown – Malek was turning heads on Mr Robot, a psychological hacker drama on which he stars with Christian Slater.

It was Malek’s breakout role, after humble beginnings growing up in suburban Los Angeles, in an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox family. He has an identical twin brother named Sami, and an older sister.

He attended high school in Sherman Oaks with actresses Rachel Bilson and Kirsten Dunst, and went on to study theater at the University of Evansville in Indiana, graduating with a fine arts degree in 2003.

His television career began the following year with a guest spot on popular show Gilmore Girls.

A variety of bit parts in television and film followed, including a role as the pharaoh Ahkmenrah in the Night at the Museum trilogy starring Ben Stiller and a part in the final Twilight movie.

Malek has spoken about challenges avoiding being typecast, saying early this month at the Santa Barbara Film Festival: “I looked at the auditions and I knew I could probably get the terrorist role. It’s funny but it’s sad.”

He has appeared in two films directed by Oscar nominee Spike Lee: Oldboy, a remake of an ultra-violent South Korean film, and the offbeat horror film Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.

On Mr Robot, Malek stars as Elliot, a young programmer who is also an unstable vigilante hacker – who gets involved in hacking the shadowy company he works for. 

Malek has won an Emmy for the role, and the fourth and final season is due to air on USA Network later this year.

{source} <blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi45omdlYhu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading” data-instgrm-version=”12″ style=” background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:540px; min-width:326px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px); width:calc(100% – 2px);”><div style=”padding:16px;”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi45omdlYhu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading” style=” background:#FFFFFF; line-height:0; padding:0 0; text-align:center; text-decoration:none; width:100%;” target=”_blank”> <div style=” display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;”></div> <div style=”display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;”> <div style=” background-color: #F4F4F4; 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‘He was like a superhero’ 

But his work as Mercury – the flamboyant Tanzania-born Farrokh Bulsara, who moved to London and became a legend before dying in 1991 at age 45 – will likely lead to more work on the big screen.

Malek’s wide, expressive eyes and devilish grin came in handy for his portrayal of Mercury, who was known for his stunning vocal range and on-stage antics.

FREDDIE MERCURY. Rami Malek as the rock icon Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody.'

“I said yes right away to playing Freddie Mercury,” Malek said in Santa Barbara. “Moments later, I thought, ‘Ok, what have you done? This is crazy.'”

“I would look at all the footage of him and see this performer that was otherworldly,” he added. “He was like a superhero to me… The only way to demystify him was to look at that human being behind that superhero.”

After the film wrapped, Malek had the prosthetic teeth cast – in gold, just like the Oscar statuette he now owns. – Rappler.com