Rami Malek was the frontrunner for best actor at the 2019 Academy Awards, but even so, he looked beside himself when it was revealed that he’d secured the 2019 Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody at Sunday (Feb. 24) night’s ceremony.
Kissing co-star and real-life girlfriend Lucy Boynton before taking the stage, Malek’s first words were simply of amazement: “Oh my God.”
The first-generation American son of Egyptian parents thanked his family and their support. “My mom is in here somewhere — oh, I love you lady,” he said. “My dad didn’t get to see me do any of this, but I think he’s looking down on me right now.”
Malek tipped to the fact that he wasn’t the first actor attached to this role, noting, “I may not have been the obvious choice, but I guess it worked out.”
In addition to thanking the late Mercury, a pioneering queer musician and rock icon, he thanked Queen (who opened the show with a performance with Adam Lambert) “for letting me be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy. I am forever in your debt.”
He wrapped by thanking Boynton, who plays his lover-then-friend in the film. “Lucy Boynton, you are the heart of this film. You are beyond immensely talented, you have captured my heart. Thank you so much.”