Mahershala Ali has made movie history by being the first black man to win two Supporting Actor Academy Awards when he won this year’s award for his role as pianist Don Shirley in Green Book. Ali previously won an Oscar for his supporting actor role in Moonlight. Mahershala, along with Denzel Washington, is also the only other black person to win two Oscars.
Ali played Don Shirley in the critically acclaimed film, telling the story of the black musician’s trip through the United States in the ’60s with Italian driver Tony Lip, played by Viggo Mortensen. The pair develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism in an era of segregation.
“I want to thank Dr. Shirley for just trying to capture his essence,” Ali said in his acceptance speech. “Just trying to capture Dr. Shirley’s essence, pushed me to my ends, which is a reflection of the person he was and the life that he lived and I thank him.”
Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”), Sam Elliott (“A Star Is Born”), Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), and Sam Rockwell (“Vice”) were also nominated in the Best Supporting Actor Category.
In 2017, Ali took home his first Supporting Actor Oscar for “Moonlight”.
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