Mahershala Ali seems shocked that his Oscar campaign is working so well

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Do you remember the Oscar campaign around Moonlight in early 2017? I do. I remember wanting Mahershala Ali to win every Best Supporting Actor award for his tender, moving, star-making performance. I threatened to burn the place down if he didn’t win. And he won a lot of stuff, including a SAG Award and an Oscar. It was emotional and important for him to win stuff back then. This awards season, there’s not the same feeling. But if anything, Mahershala is winning more consistently this year for his performance in Green Book. As I’ve said many times, I think Green Book is bad and problematic, but if Mahershala is the only one winning from the film, I’m fine with that. He does the most with his role.

What’s interesting is that I don’t think Mahershala came into this awards season believing that he was going to sweep. I think he’s sort of embarrassed that this is happening for a film which has so many problems. At last night’s Critics Choice Awards, he didn’t even walk the red carpet, and when he won, he brought up his stand-in to thank him personally and use the guy as a shield, basically, or a convenient prop so Mahershala wouldn’t have to thank many of the people from the film. That’s probably because the screenwriter (and son of the real-life Tony Lip, played by Viggo Mortensen) Nick Vallelonga just had to issue a formal apology for tweeting at and agreeing with Donald Trump’s lies about Muslims. Mahershala is Muslim.

Nick Vallelonga, the screenwriter of the new film “Green Book,” apologized Thursday for a 2015 anti-Muslim tweet that recently resurfaced.

“I want to apologize. I spent my life trying to bring this story of overcoming differences and finding common ground to the screen, and I am incredibly sorry to everyone associated with ‘Green Book’,” he said in a statement. “I especially deeply apologize to the brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali, and all members of the Muslim faith, for the hurt I have caused. I am also sorry to my late father who changed so much from Dr. Shirley’s friendship and I promise this lesson is not lost on me. ‘Green Book’ is a story about love, acceptance and overcoming barriers, and I will do better.”

[From The NY Post]

A commenter said, last week, that Mahershala has had to eat so much sh-t during this promotional tour and awards season, and it’s so true. The white guys involved in Green Book are drowning in mess, but Mahershala is trying to stay above the fray. And what’s weird is that he’s being rewarded for it. Oh well… if it gets him another Oscar, I’m fine with it.

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23 Responses to “Mahershala Ali seems shocked that his Oscar campaign is working so well”

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  1. Jerusha says:

    I haven’t even seen the first episode of True Detective yet, but based on his other performances, I predict an Emmy win, too. When I saw Moonlight, just a few minutes into his role, I knew he had the Oscar.
    If I watch Green Book at all it’ll be on dvd so I can fast forward or just stop it if necessary. I think the main importance of that movie is reminding people that a green book actually existed, that there was a time not so long ago, when it was a life or death matter. Yesterday’s CBS Sunday Morning had a very good segment on the real Green Book. Worth googling if you missed it.

    • mom2two says:

      Yes, he will definitely get an Emmy for True Detective. I saw the first episode of TD and the writing is not that great, but his performance is.

  2. Honey bear says:

    Anyone watch true detective last night? He was excellent.

    • isabelle says:

      Best part of the show. I’m excited about this season!!! A lot of good acting so far, but Ali, WOW.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m actually willing to go back and give the show another chance just for him.

      I feel really badly for him in all this Green Book nonsense, but he’s handled it gracefully.

    • Ellaus says:

      He was amazing in it! As said above, the episode has great acting, and sets a very interesting case. Season 1 is still my favourite, McConaughey was incredible…. I have no doubt Mahershala Ali is setting the bar very high!

    • Wendy says:

      He’s the only reason I’m watching, and he’s fantastic in it. Really and truly.

    • Onemoretime says:

      Watched both episodes last night and yes his performance was awesome. Definitely better that season 2 but that was such a crap season; I couldn’t even finish the season. Also noticed in the credits Woody and Matthew are producers, hopefully that’s a plus for the remainder of the season. Mahershala is one of today’s better actors, he deserves all the awards.

  3. Millennial says:

    He’s leading man quality. I hope Hollywood can find him some leading man roles suitable to his talent. Then he can stop doing these projects to pay the bills

    • Mia4s says:

      My sense so far is that is not the way things are heading. It feels like he’s heading the Christoph Waltz route (two supporting Oscars, not considered a leading man, great character work). He was very smart to take the lead in True Detective; television is where on the risks are taken these days and it might help set a different path.

      Of course it could have something to do with the fact that Hollywood is not too sure how to handle a 45 year old African American Muslim leading man…nah…I’m sure that’s not it. 😒

      • isabelle says:

        Honestly didn’t know much about him until he was hired for True Detective. His face, is maybe one of the arresting faces I’ve seen on a man. Beautiful.

  4. BigGirl says:

    Shit show.. Kinda classy approach. This latent racism and Islamaphobia just keep seeping in to every aspect of our lives. It’s also remarkable how the actors and writers used this story for artistic and material gain but the underlying tale of race and injustice in US was incomprehensible.

  5. Case says:

    He is a phenomenal actor. Don’t know if I’ll see Green Book based on all the problematic nonsense surrounding it, but I absolutely love Mahershala Ali and have no doubt he deserves these accolades.

  6. Helen says:

    house of cards *farts, but mahershala was *it* on that show. just spectacular. it’s no wonder he keeps getting so many accolades, years later.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      That’s what I first noticed him in. He was so intriguing. Remy Danton FTW!

      • DesertReal says:

        Yes! Remi & Jackie forever!
        That being said, the first (and probably my favorite) thing I’ve seen him in, was The 4400. He did so much with the character and really stood out on that show. He deserves all the things for continuing to do the same in everything he’s been in since.

  7. Karen says:

    Saw Green Book yesterday. Excellent acting. His part was not a supporting actor role so he is a shoo in.

    • outoftheshadows says:

      They put him in for supporting actor, though, so they could put both him and Mortensen up for awards.

  8. Tiffany says:

    It does surprise me it is going well, he is that films only saying grace right now and HW loves to pat themselves on the back with white savior acclaim. He keeps getting awards, they will say ‘See, the black guy really deserved it’.

    The only thing that is beneficial is that the scripts will get better for Mahershala and possibly his pay rate will go up as well.

  9. anon says:

    He’s a great actor and a classy man but I still believe Timothee Chalamet is getting robbed. Too bad his movie flopped, that’s what’s holding him back, I think

    • ravynrobyn says:

      Yes, he was INCREDIBLE! Reminded me of Timothy Hutton in “Ordinary People “. I have never EVER compared anyone to TH until now.

  10. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    I just saw the beginning of True Detective last night and he’s simply amazing, so an Oscar for him is also okay with me. Not Viggo, though.

  11. Clay says:

    he is a class act and a very smart guy. Imagine for a second how would have reacted to this mess someone like Armie Hammer. LOL It would have been a social media sh*t feast of being extra, angry responses and playing the victim. I kind of want him (Armie) to mess up something again, it was so funny.