Rami Malek said the success of Bohemian Rhapsody is proof that the world needs stories like it as he collected the Oscar for Best Actor.
The star played Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic and beat competition from Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, and Viggo Mortensen to collect the trophy.
Malek first thanked his family, paying tribute to his late father. “My dad didn’t get to see me do any of this but I think he’s looking down on me right now,” he said. “This is a monumental moment.”
He went on to say he wasn’t the “obvious choice” for the part but “I guess it worked out.” He thanked Queen “for allowing me to be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy,” saying he was “forever in their debt.”
In a heartfelt speech, Oscar winner Rami Malek praises his mom, says he knows his dad is looking down on him, thanks Queen, and says the world "is longing for stories" about people being "unapologetically" themselves.
Watch the whole thing: https://t.co/XQU450bcno #Oscars pic.twitter.com/vXI7TZfuxJ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 25, 2019
The actor went on to talk about the importance of the film, referring to his younger self. “That kid was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out,” he said. “To anyone struggling with theirs and trying to discover their voice – listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant who lived his life just unapologetically himself.
“The fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this. I’m the son of immigrants from Egypt. I’m a first generation American. But my story is being written right now and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you and everyone who believed in me.”
You can keep up with all the winners from the 2019 Oscars here.
Queen and Adam Lambert opened the ceremony, which is taking place at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater tonight (February 24). They performed a medley of ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’ in the place of the traditional host’s opening monologue.