Mahershala Ali Dedicates Oscar to His Grandmother for ‘Always Pushing’ Him

Mahershala Ali won his second Oscar Sunday night, taking home the best supporting actor award for playing real-life pianist Dr. Don Shirley in Green Book.

Ali thanked the piano virtuoso for “who he was and the life that he lived,” during his acceptance speech.

The actor also thanked co-star Viggo Mortensen, director Peter Farrelly, executive producer Octavia Spencer and his grandmother.

“I want to dedicate this to my grandmother, who has been in my ear my entire life, telling me that if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Ali went on to say his grandmother constantly offered encouragement by telling him: “I could do anything I put my mind to, and always, always pushing me to think positively. I know that I would not be here, that she has gotten me over the hump every step of the way.”

Green Book premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and immediately became an awards-season contender.

The Universal release re-creates the concert tour of Shirley, an African-American man touring the Deep South in 1962 with only a Bronx-bred Italian driver and temporarily unemployed bouncer there for support.

Mortensen co-stars as driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, who helps protect Shirley from the dangers of the segregated South.

Ali also won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the SAG Award for his role in Green Book. But those wins came amid backlash from Shirley’s family, who have come forward to say that the film’s portrayal of the musician was not accurate.

Ali won his first Oscar in 2016, picking up the supporting actor award for his performance in Moonlight.

Source: Read Full Article