89th Oscars Onstage Speech Transcript: Actor in a Supporting Role

CATEGORY: Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
SPEECH BY: Mahershala Ali
FILM: Moonlight


[Buttoning his jacket] My grandma would want me to button up. Wow. I want to thank my teachers, my professors. I have so many wonderful teachers, and one thing that they consistently told me—Zelda Fichandler, Ron Van Lieu, Ken Washington—is that it wasn’t about you. It’s not about you. It’s about these characters you are serving. You’re in service to these stories and these characters, and I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity—it was about Juan, it was about Chiron, it was about Paula. The cast and crew was just such a wonderful experience. Thank you, Barry Jenkins. Thank you, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Adele Romanski, who forced Barry to cast me, and it’s just such a wonderful experience. And I have so many people to thank who got me here. My manager Carolyn Govers, who I’ve been with for 10 years. Just thank you so much. And the rest of the cast, who did wonderful work. Any one of them could be up here right now holding this trophy. It’s such a gift getting to work with you and be inspired by you and the performances that you all offered up. So thank you, the Academy, I really appreciate this. I just want to thank my wife, who was in her third trimester during awards season. We just had our daughter four days ago. I just want to thank her for being such a soldier through this process and help, and really carrying me through it all. So thank you. Really appreciate it. Peace and blessings.



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