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2019 Golden Globe Film Acting Award Goes to Arab American Rami Malek

posted on: Jan 9, 2019

By: John Mason/Arab America Contributing Writer

Rami Said Malek says he does not like hyphens in descriptions of who he is. He thus describes himself as an American whose parents are Egyptian who emigrated to the U.S. All that Rami Malek is he has thrown into his role as Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the English rock band, Queen in the film Bohemian Rhapsody. Sunday evening he won the Globe award with every good reason–his supreme acting ability.

Malek is known more popularly for his role as Elliot Anderson in the USA Network TV series, Mr. Robot. Now, in his role of Freddie Mercury, he is perhaps better known as one helluva great actor in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody

Raised in Los Angeles as a child of Egyptian (Coptic) parents, Malek absorbed his parents love of such Egyptian heroes as Umm al-Kulthum and Omar Sharif. He speaks Arabic. His Egyptian roots have influenced his devotion to the idea of diversity, both in Hollywood and in America generally.

Speaking at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016, where he won Best Actor in a Drama Series, Malek spoke about diversity. “For me to stand here as not the typical leading man and to come home with this speaks a lot about where we’re headed,” Rami said in his backstage interview. “I think we can just keep going further in that direction. It’s not just limited to entertainment, but socially and politically… we continue and strive to be as progressive as possible.”

Malek’s Egyptian immigrant parents worked to give him and his siblings the careers they have today. The Malek family comes from the ancient Coptic Christian minority of Egypt. Rami’s father was a tour guide in Cairo before moving his family to California for better work opportunities.

While Bohemian Rhapsody was not expected to be the winner of the Globe awards, it seems Rami Malek’s performance pulled it over the finishing line.