Mahershala Ali has won his second Oscar in just three years.
After winning in 2017 for Moonlight, he’s won again this year for Green Book. Ali is the first Black actor to win this award twice. (Denzel Washington won his two for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor.)
In his acceptance speech, Ali said, “I want to thank Dr. Shirley for just trying to capture his essence. 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.”
He continued, “I thank my partner, Viggo. It was extraordinary working with you.” He also thanked Peter Farrelly. “Thank you for your leadership and guidance. And also for giving us space, like, really giving us space to work it out, and coming in and tweaking. Really appreciate and love you,” he said. “I want to dedicate this to my grandmother, who has been in my ear my entire life. Telling me that if I first don’t succeed, try, try again. That I can do anything I set my mind to. Always, always pushing me to think positively. I know that I would not be here without her, that she’s gotten me over the hump in a lot of ways.”
Green Book faced controversy this awards season after the Shirley family came out against the film.
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images