Actor Rami Malek has taken home the Oscar for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody at the 91st Academy Awards in Hollywood.
The 37-year-old – who shot to fame in last year’s biopic about the late Queen singer – beat Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe and Viggo Mortensen to take home the top gong at the awards ceremony on Sunday evening (US time).
‘Oh my god,” he said to laughter from the audience as he accepted his award. “My mum is in here somewhere. Oh I love you. I love you, lady.”
He thanked his family for their support, but it was his tribute to his late father that brought the house down.
“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 to cheers from the audience. “This is a monumental moment, I’m so appreciative to all of you, to everyone who has had a hand in getting me here.
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.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 25, 2019
“To the Academy, to people who took a chance on me every step of the way… I may not have been the obvious choice but I guess it worked out.”
He also gave a very special shout out to Queen for letting him bring their story to life on the big screen.
“Thank you guys for allowing me to be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy,” he said. “I am forever in your debt.”
Members of the band could be seen looking on from the audience.
“My crew and my cast – I love you! You are my equal, you are my betters, I couldn’t have been here without you,” he continued. “I think about what it would be like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him. I think his curly-haired mind would be blown.
“That kid was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out and I think 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 is proof we’re longing for stories like this.
“I’m the son of immigrants from Egypt, I’m a first generation American and part of 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 for this moment. It is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
He also thanked his girlfriend later in his speech, explaining that she is the heart of the film and that she captured his heart.
Meanwhile, Olivia Colman took home Best Actress for her role in The Favourite.