Prime News, International, Bollywood, Cinema, Entertainment, Los Angeles (USA), February 25:- Rami Malek won his first Oscar on Sunday as best lead actor for his portrayal of singer Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant late frontman of the British rock band Queen, in the musical drama “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Malek, 37, had emerged as a favourite for the Oscar in recent weeks after winning Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and British BAFTA awards.
A Los Angeles native of Egyptian descent, Malek took on the role of Mercury, born to ethnic Parsi parents from India who moved their family to England when their son was in his late teens.
The film dramatizes the origins of Queen and Mercury’s personal battles, including his struggle with his sexuality and drug and alcohol use. In 1991, he was one of the first British celebrities to die from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), at age 45.
Taking the stage to accept his award, Malek drew parallels between his and Mercury’s real-life experiences in coming to grips with their personal identities and finding their voices as artistes.
“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself, and the fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this,” Malek said.
“I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I’m a first-generation American, and part of my story is being written right now,” he said to applause.
Being neither a singer, dancer nor piano player, Malek took voice, movement, piano and guitar lessons, and spent months studying archival footage of Mercury to capture his accent, his strutting stage demeanor and the way he commanded a microphone.
“I may not have been the obvious choice (to play Mercury), but I guess it worked out,” Malek told the Oscar audience.
He also thanked the two surviving, active original members of Queen, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, who opened the Oscar telecast with a raucous performance of two of the band’s biggest hits – “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.”
The closing section of the film recreates almost move by move the famed Live Aid benefit concert in London where Queen played in July 1985.
In addition to Malek’s win for best actor, the film earned Oscars for film editing, sound editing and sound mixing.
Meanwhile, the British actor Olivia Colman has won the best actress Oscar in Hollywood for her role in The Favourite. Colman beat Glenn Close – who had been considered a shoo-in for her role in The Wife – Lady Gaga, Yalitza Aparicio and Melissa McCarthy to the prize.
Colman began her emotional speech by saying the experience of winning was “genuinely quite stressful” and that “this is hilarious! I’ve got an Oscar!”
She also apologised to Close, saying, “You’ve been my idol for so long – this is not how I wanted it to be”.
The Oscar winners
Best Picture: “Green Book”
Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Actor: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Original Screenplay: “Green Book”
Adapted Screenplay: “BlackKklansman”
Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Sound Editing: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Visual Effects: “First Man”
Film Editing: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Animated Short: “Bao”
Live Action Short: “Skin”
Documentary Short: “Period. End of Sentence.”
Original Score: “Black Panther”
Original Song: “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
Production Design: “Black Panther”
Costume Design: “Black Panther”
Makeup and Hairstyling: “Vice”
Documentary Feature: “Free Solo”
Sound Mixing: “Bohemian Rhapsody.” (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)