Rami Malek has picked up yet another Best Actor award for his performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
The 37-year-old won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award last night (January 27) for ‘Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role – Motion Picture’.
Malek beat out fellow nominees Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman).
Despite having won the Golden Globe for ‘Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama’ and receiving a nomination for ‘Best Actor’ at this year’s Academy Awards, Malek told the audience he was ‘taken aback’ by the win.
In his acceptance speech, Malek also thanked Mercury:
Wow – this just seems extraordinary to me when I look at the actors I’m nominated with, truly. I just never in my wildest dreams thought I could be in a category with these men and I am so proud to be one of your peers, and to celebrate my peers tonight and be celebrated by them.
It’s an honour and I’m taken aback by it.
I thank Queen and Freddie Mercury. I get some power from him that is about stepping up and living your best life; being exactly who you want to be and accomplishing everything you so desire. And I feel that, and he allows us all to feel that. So this is for him.
Malek has been the favourite to win this year’s Best Actor Oscar since his Golden Globe win.
However, his victory last night has only made this more likely since the SAG Awards are usually a good indication of who will pick up Academy Awards.
Over the past 24 years, 71 out of the 96 people handed acting awards at the Oscars also won at the SAG Awards.
When it comes to the ‘Best Actor’ category in particular, 19 of the last 24 SAG winners went on to also pick up the Academy Award.
It is no wonder bookies are slashing Malek’s odds to make him the clear favourite to win.
On Paddy Power for example, at time of writing (January 28), Malek currently has the shortest odds listed at 1/2.
In comparison, Christian Bale is at 9/4 for his performance as Dick Cheney in Vice, Bradley Cooper is listed at 9/1 for his role as Jack in A Star Is Born, Viggo Mortensen has odds of 20/1 for Green Book, while Willem Dafoe is the outsider currently listed at 40/1 for his performance in At Eternity’s Gate.
Malek certainly ticks a lot of boxes for the Academy who typically favour films about historical figures and transformative performances.
Just look at last year when Gary Oldman won Best Actor for his performance as Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour.
Playing Mercury, who is regarded as one of the greatest singers in history, Malek transformed his appearance for the role, he even wore prosthetic teeth for a year prior to filming to get accustomed to them, as reported by Odeon.
Malek also had to lose and gain weight for different parts of the movie, taking on an intense diet and exercise regime to play the frontman at different stages of his life.
So I would bet good money he will be taking home the Best Actor Oscar this year!
The 91st Academy Awards takes place on February 24.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.