Mahershala Ali Dedicates His Best Supporting Actor Win to His Grandmother at Oscars 2019

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Mahershala Ali can't lose with the Academy.

The actor is now two-for-two after winning Best Supporting Actor during Sunday's Oscars for his performance as famed pianist Dr. Don Shirley in Green Book. Ali graciously accepted the award from presenters Charlize Theron and Daniel Craig and immediately thanked the real Dr. Shirley.

"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 he lived, and I thank him," he said, before thanking his "partner" Viggo Mortensen and director Peter Farrelly.

"I want to dedicate this to my grandmother," Ali added, "Who has been in my ear my entire life telling me that if at first I don't succeed, try and try again, that I could do anything that I put my mind do, always, always pushing me to think positively. I know that I would not be here without her, that she has gotten me over the hump every step of the way."

This year's Best Supporting Actor nominees also included Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Sam Rockwell (Vice). Ali previously won this category in 2017 for Moonlight.

"When I read projects or when I find myself drawn to something it's really pretty much in alignment with a larger consciousness that I try to live with," Ali recently told ET of how he selects his roles. "I'm not always successful. I've got projects out there that I wish did a lot better or that I wish turned out a lot better even."

Green Book, which purports to tell the true story of Dr. Shirley and his chauffeur, Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga, as they travel through the Deep South in the 1960s, has not been without its controversies this awards season. Of note, relatives of Shirley called the film "a symphony of lies," reportedly prompting Ali to personally call the family to apologize.

Still, Ali took home the BAFTA Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award ahead of the Oscars. If that weren't enough, Ali is also part of the cast of the Oscar-winning Best Animated Feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.


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