Mahershala Ali – MovieActors.com

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Mahershala Ali in Green Book (2018).

Mahershala Ali: Best Supporting Actor, 2018: MovieActors.com

Green_Book_movie_poster Green Book (Biography, Comedy, Drama – PG-13)

Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in the 2018 film Green Book, in which he plays "Doc" Don Shirley, an African American pianist who is looking for a driver for his eight-week concert tour through the Midwest and Deep South.

About Mahershala Ali (1974 – ____)

Mahershala Ali was born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore in 1974, in Oakland, California, the son of Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was raised in Hayward, California. His father was an actor who appeared on Broadway. He attended St. Mary's College of California (SMC) in Moraga, California where he graduated in 1996 with a degree in mass communication.

Though Ali entered SMC with a basketball scholarship, he became disenchanted with the idea of a sports career because of the treatment given to the team's athletes. Ali developed an interest in acting, particularly after taking part in a staging of Spunk. This later landed him an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater following graduation. Following a sabbatical year where Ali worked for Gavin Report, he enrolled in New York University's graduate acting program at Tisch School of the Arts, earning his master's degree in 2000.

He was named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a biblical prophetic-name child, and raised a Christian by his mother, an ordained minister. In 2000, he converted to Islam, changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – a revivalist movement within Islam. In interviews, he has recounted numerous problems he has encountered at airports, with banks, and otherwise in everyday life as an American Muslim since the September 11 attacks.

Ali was known professionally by his full name, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, from 2001 until 2010, when he began to be credited as Mahershala Ali. Ali had considered shortening his name for a while, saying that using his full first name was "a crazy thing to do considering that we're in Hollywood", although he had never been pressured by managers or agents to change it. He decided to use a shorter version of his first name after being told that his full name was too long to fit on the poster for the film The Place Beyond the Pines. He did not want the alternative of "M. Ali" to represent himself on the poster, so he chose to adopt the shorter version of his name.

He elaborated in an interview to Vanity Fair in October 2016:

"I think if you have any desire to be a leading man or to really carry some of these stories, there's this relationship that has to be cultivated with an audience. People have to be able to say your name. I didn't want a couple of syllables to get in the way of me having the fullest experience as an actor."

He is known for his portrayal of Remy Danton in the Netflix series House of Cards, Cornell Stokes in Marvel's Luke Cage, Colonel Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, and Tizzy in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

His first major film role was that of Tizzy Weathers in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Other notable films include Predators, The Place Beyond the Pines, Free State of Jones, Hidden Figures, and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series.

For his performance as mentor and drug dealer Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the SAG Award and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination. His win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.

In 2017 Ali joined the video game Madden NFL 18's story mode Longshot, in which he played Cutter Wade, the father of protagonist Devin. He played Don Shirley in the 2018 film Green Book, receiving his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He won a 2019 Golden Globe award for best supporting actor for his role, as well as a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Ali starred as Arkansas State Police detective Wayne Hays in the third season of the HBO series True Detective, which premiered on January 13, 2019, in the United States. On Rotten Tomatoes, the site's critical consensus reads, "Driven by Mahershala Ali's mesmerizing performance, True Detective's third season finds fresh perspective by exploring real world events – though it loses some of the series' intriguing strangeness along the way."

Ali was signed to Bay Area recording label Hieroglyphics Imperium during the late 2000s and recorded rap music as Prince Ali. He released his album, Curb Side Service, in 2007, but did not tour to promote the album, choosing instead to focus on his acting career.

Ali is Ahmadi Muslim. He named his cat Nas, after the rapper. He is married to Amatus-Sami Karim, an actress and musician. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter, a few days before his Oscar win in 2017.

Mahershala Ali 's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
2003 Making Revolution Mac Laslow
2008 Umi's Heart Ezra
2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Tizzy Weathers
2009 Crossing Over Detective Strickland
2010 Predators Mombasa
2012 The Place Beyond the Pines Kofi Kancam
2013 Go for Sisters Dez
2014 Supremacy Deputy Rivers
2014 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Boggs
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2Boggs
2016 Kicks Marlon
2016 Gubagude Ko Ochoro
2016 Free State of Jones Moses Washington
2016 Moonlight Juan
2016 Hidden Figures Jim Johnson
2017 Roxanne Roxanne Cross
2018 Green Book Don Shirley
2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Aaron Davis / The Prowler
2019 Alita: Battle Angel Vector

Mahershala Ali 's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
2001–2002 Crossing Jordan Dr. Trey Sanders
2002 Haunted Alex Dalcour
2002 NYPD Blue Rashard Coleman
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Tombs' Security Guard
2003 The Handler N/A
2003–2004 Threat Matrix Jelani Harper
2004–2007 The 4400 Richard Tyler
2009 Lie to Me Det. Don Hughes
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mark Foster
2010 The Wronged Man Calvin Willis
2010 All Signs of Death Gabe
2011 Lights Out Death Row Reynolds
2011–2012 Treme Anthony King
2011–2012 Alphas Nathan Clay
2012 Alcatraz Clarence Montgomery
2013–2016 House of Cards Remy Danton
2016 Marvel's Luke Cage Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes
2017 Comrade Detective Coach
2018 Room 104 Franco
2019 True Detective Wayne Hays

Academy Nominations/Awards won by Mahershala Ali include...

Year Movie Award
2018 Green Book Best Supporting Actor (Winner)

Memorable Quotes by Mahershala Ali

“ At that moment in time when we feel like the other, we were not the person embraced, not one of the cool kids, not in the club - when you're that person, it makes you feel smaller, and when they persecute you as a result, that's a difficult position to be in. ”

“ I have had that same experience where there are several people who have come up in my life at the right time and have made critical contributions to how I see the world and how I see myself. ”

“ Your life, your circumstances change, and you have to continue to grow as a person, and once you have means and opportunity, you have to make different choices to protect what you have. ”

“ In my humble opinion, the ages 22 to about 27 are the most critical years of your adult life. It's your time to gestate in the cocoon of becoming. ”

“ I owe a lot to my time on 'House of Cards' because, up until I booked that show, I had been working consistently for 12 years, but I wasn't working on anything that mattered in the way 'House of Cards' did to its audience, to casting directors, to directors and producers. The show hit this sweet spot. ”

“ If you're throwing someone off a roof, you're throwing them off the roof. It's there. You don't have to do anything extra with that. The audience is obviously going to react to that because it's such a heightened thing to do. But in the other moments, you really look for ways to craft those, because they're more important, honestly. ”

Things You May Not Know About Mahershala Ali

Is a respected rapper in the hip hop community, having collaborated and performed with notable artists such as Talib Kweli, Planet Asia, Keith Murray, and others..

Ali has twice played a father to children with supernatural aging issues: as Richard Tyler in The 4400 (2004), his character's daughter, Isabelle, goes from infancy to adulthood in a single episode, and as Tizzy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), he plays the adoptive father of a child who is born old and ages backwards.

His Oscar win for Moonlight (2016) marked the first time a Muslim actor won an Academy Award.

Won his first Academy Award only four days after becoming a father for the first time in February 2017.

Mahershala's unsuccessful auditions include The A-Team (2010) (for the part of B.A. Baracus) plus a role he lost out on in Game of Thrones (2011).

Has always cut his own hair, since he was 12 years old.

Green_Book_pic_01_2018_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_02_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_03 Green_Book_pic_04_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_05 Green_Book_pic_06_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_07 Green_Book_pic_08 Green_Book_pic_09_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_10_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_11_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_12_Viggo_Mortensen_Brian_Stepanek_Jon_Michael_Davis Green_Book_pic_13 Green_Book_pic_14 Green_Book_pic_15 Green_Book_pic_16_Dimiter_D_Marinov_Mike_Hatton Green_Book_pic_17_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_18 Green_Book_pic_19 Green_Book_pic_20_Viggo_Mortensen Green_Book_pic_21
Mahershala Ali in his Academy Award winning supporting role as the classical pianist in Green Book (2018)... with Viggo Mortensen in pictures 1, 2, 4, 6, 9-11... with Mortensen, Brian Stepanek and Jon Michael Davis in picture 12... with Dimiter D. Marinov and Mike Hatton in picture 16... with Mortensen in pictures 17 and 20...
moonlight-pic1-with-alex-r-hibbert moonlight-pic2-with-alex-r-hibbert moonlight-pic3 moonlight-pic4
Ali in Moonlight (2016)... with Alex R. Hibbert in top two pictures.
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In Alcatraz (2012).
alphas-pic1-with-david-strathairn alphas-pic2 alphas-pic3-with-david-strathairn alphas-pic4-with-warren-christie
In Alphas (2011)... with David Strathairn in pictures 1 and 3...
with Warren Christie in bottom picture.
free-state-of-jones-pic1-with-gugu-mbatha-raw free-state-of-jones-pic2-with-matthew-mcconaughey free-state-of-jones-pic3-with-matthew-mcconaughey free-state-of-jones-pic4-with-matthew-mcconaughey
In Free State of Jones (2016)... top picture with Gugu Mbatha Raw...
with Matthew McConaughey in next three pictures.
house-of-cards-pic1-with-neve-campbell house-of-cards-pic2-with-kevin-spacey-molly-parker house-of-cards-pic3-with-molly-parker house-of-cards-pic4-with-kevin-spacey
In House of Cards (2013)... top picture with Neve Campbell... with Kevin Spacey and Molly Parker in second picture... with Molly Parker in third picture... with Kevin Spacey in bottom picture.
luke-cage-pic1-with-mike-colter luke-cage-pic2 luke-cage-pic3-with-theo-rossi-warner-miller luke-cage-pic4-with-jaiden-kaine luke-cage-pic5 luke-cage-pic6
In Luke Cage (2016)... with Mike Colter in top picture... with Theo Rossi
and Warner Miller in third picture... with Jaiden Kaine in fourth picture.
the-4400-pic1-with-patrick-john-flueger
With Patrick John Flueger in The 4400 (2004).
the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button-pic1-with-taraji-p-henson the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button-pic2 the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button-pic3-with-taraji-p-henson
In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)...
top and bottom pictures with Taraji P. Henson
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With Francis Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 (2014).
the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-pic1-with-elden-henson-wes-chatham-evan-ross-jennifer-lawrence-liam-hemsworth
With Elden Henson, Wes Chatham, Evan Ross, Jennifer Lawrence,
and Liam Hemsworth in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (2015).
the-place-beyond-the-pines-pic1-with-derek-cianfrance-eva-mendes
With Derek Cianfrance and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the Pines (2012).
the-wronged-man-pic1-with-julia-ormond the-wronged-man-pic2-with-julia-ormond the-wronged-man-pic3 the-wronged-man-pic4-with-julia-ormond
Mahershala Ali in The Wronged Man (2010)...
with Julia Ormond in first, second, and fourth pictures.