Mahershala Ali looks absolutely amazing in his cover editorial for THR


I wish I could say that I have been a long-time admirer of Mahershala Ali, but that’s not the case. The first time I saw him in anything was Moonlight, and his small, heartbreaking, haunting performance was star-making in my opinion. I’ve been a fan ever since, and I’m honestly trying to NOT obsess about him. You know why? Because if he ends up losing the Best Supporting Oscar, I don’t want to be heartbroken. He deserves it so much though, my God. Anyway, now that the Oscar ballots have been sent out, Mahershala is doing some extra Oscar campaigning, which is how he ended up on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter. This is one of the most beautiful editorials I’ve ever seen from THR. They gave Mahershala the whole treatment – he got to wear beautiful suits, look soulfully into the lens, and they even did some amazing profile shots (Mahershala has one of the most gorgeous profiles I’ve ever seen). You can read the full THR piece here – it’s written sort of as a first-person essay, and I was very moved when he talked about his conversion to Islam and more. Some highlights:

His parents’ divorce: “My father, Phillip Gilmore, was very talented. He was getting seriously into dancing. He was on Soul Train and won $2,500. But the Bay Area was too small for him. I don’t think he had the space to do what he needed to do. He went off to New York and got into the Dance Theatre of Harlem and immediately started working and traveling with the companies of the larger shows. They split when I was 3. I remember clearly my mom’s reaction, one of the first things that felt traumatic in my life. She was leaning on the dresser, crying, and I said, “Mommy?” I asked her what was wrong. She told me that my dad had left, and I started crying. Just seeing her, I understood the weight of what was happening. She said, “He’s gone. Your father’s gone.”‘

Depression: “I was borderline depressed for years. There was a sadness over me, a melancholy. That’s always been a part of me — those are some of the things that lead you to the arts. It’s something I still think about, not that it brings me sadness at this point; it’s a void or fracture that happened so early that now I have to address it in the healthiest way.”

Growing up around drug dealers: “As I got older, I started seeing things happen to people. I started seeing cousins go to jail for armed robbery, drugs. My friend’s mom was a drug dealer, but I didn’t know she was a drug dealer. Drugs were a way for people to support themselves without advertising it. It was done covertly. Today, we are used to seeing all these chains and these cars, when a lot of times it was done discreetly and to support someone’s income.”

His conversion: “I was around 23 or 24 years old when I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I was going back in time and trying to find out why I believed what I believed, and it always ended with my mother, and with what I was told — not my own epiphany or studies.”

[From THR]

He doesn’t say anything controversial, and I have to say… while Mahershala has come across as a complete and total professional throughout this awards season, you can really tell that this is the first time he’s ever had this kind of attention. He doesn’t really know how to do the celebrity thing, and he often comes across as very thoughtful, earnest and reflective in interviews, as opposed to someone glossy and vapid, someone who can only talk about their workouts and diets. It’s refreshing. Seriously, you guys – I don’t know what I’ll do if he doesn’t win the Oscar.



Photos courtesy of Miller Mobley/The Hollywood Reporter.

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39 Responses to “Mahershala Ali looks absolutely amazing in his cover editorial for THR”

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  1. Nicole says:

    This shoot is amazing!! He’s also really nice in person as well. I’m hoping that he wins on Oscar night…he deserves it

  2. juice says:

    this man is beautiful inside and out. i’ve loved him as an actor since i first saw him on house of cards. and his voice and laugh are like butter.

  3. Blacksred says:

    He is awesome in House of Cards. That was the first time i remember seeing him.

  4. Clare says:

    He has the most beautiful voice.
    I think I may have replaced David Attenborough with him on the top of my ‘read to me’ list.

  5. Slowsnow says:

    He’s not a central character in House of Cards but there is a scene when the police stops him because: black-man-in-expensive-car and he is truly great in it – well, in all the scenes he’s in.

  6. Talie says:

    Supporting actor is way up in the air, surprisingly. A different actor has won at every major award show…personally, I’m rooting for Michael Shannon.

  7. Sixer says:

    Tsk, Kaiser. How could he have passed you by? Sixer nickname = Cheekbones. He is drop dead beautiful and it’s all rather nice because he seems like such a genuine chap, too. And he can act! It does present me with a slight problem since I do like to laugh at my internet boyfriends and there’s not a thing to laugh at here. I’ll have to find something soon.

  8. Esmom says:

    Yes, he is lovely, that last shot is perfection. I enjoyed his interview, as you said it’s refreshing how thoughtful and reflective he is. His story about his dad leaving was heartbreaking.

  9. trollontheloose says:

    he’s sex on wheels in Luke Cage. I dig him. I dig his simplicity and I hope to God it stays that away

  10. Bluesky says:

    I first noticed him on “House of Cards” I was like “who is this 6 feet of deliciousness????”

  11. Jess says:

    Like him on House of Cards and love him on Luke Cage. This photo shoot is to die for! And he’d better win that Oscar!!

  12. Dark says:

    This merits my first comment ever here – I’m so happy he’s getting the attention he deserves! I loved him on House of Cards and he was brilliant in Moonlight…also…SO hot.

  13. Carol Hill says:

    He’s “A tall glass of cold water, delicious day or night.”

  14. Tobbs says:

    I first noticed him in the 4400, which I now realized came out in 2004. Wow, I feel old now. Love that he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves. His looks soo good here.

  15. I Choose Me says:

    His smile. His voice, his eyes, the way he moves. And so f-cking talented to boot. I could watch him in anything. I’m sticking with Luke Cage on Netflix only because of him.

  16. a reader says:

    I’ve been a fan of this beautiful, talented man since the 4400. I am THRILLED to see him getting some attention and praise for his heartbreaking role in Moonlight. <3

  17. Onemoretime says:

    Oh my beautiful sexy Remy from House of Cards, he’s damn sexy in a suit! Absolutely loved him in Luke Cage he was an awesome villain. Loved him in Moonlight and Hidden Figures(damn sexy in a uniform!) as well. I hope we continue to see Mahershala in many projects going forward.

  18. Div says:

    I’ve loved him since The 4400 and I am so glad to see that he is now getting attention and great roles. He just signed on for a film by JC Chandor with Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum and he’s costarring in another upcoming film with Viola Davis. I will scream if he doesn’t win the Oscar…his part was brief but he was the best actor in Moonlight in a field of very talented people.

  19. Margo S. says:

    He will win the oscar kaiser. I feel it! What a beautiful man. Inside and out. And that smile of his?! Swoon!

  20. yipyop says:

    He was in Mockingjay too. As one of that soldier who was helping Katniss. Forget his name in the movie

  21. Koolkitty says:

    There’s an interview he did with his wife for the podcast “Death, Sex, and Money” with Anna Sale. It’s truly delightful/insightful for those interested in looking it up.

  22. Cindy says:

    He looks great because the amazing photographer Miller Mobley did the shoot. Check out his past celebrity photos.

  23. Mindy says:

    “… you can really tell that this is the first time he’s ever had this kind of attention.”

    He deserves more attention.. just saying. :)