Rami Malek has been named best lead male of the year by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The actor won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama with his work in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” beating out Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”), Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”), and John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”). Cooper was widely considered to be Malek’s toughest competition for the prize, but the HFPA ended up falling for Malek’s physical transformation into Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
Malek’s victory is for one of two Golden Globes “Bohemian Rhapsody” was nominated for this year, the other being Best Drama Motion Picture. The film marked Malek’s biggest film breakthrough yet, although he has an Emmy for Best Actor Drama under his belt thanks to his work on the USA drama series “Mr. Robot.” Despite a polarizing response from film critics, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been a box office juggernaut for 20th Century Fox. The title is currently the highest grossing biopic ever released worldwide with over $700 million and counting.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” chronicles the rise of legendary rock band Queen, with Malek starring as frontman Freddie Mercury. In order to transform into Mercury, Malek sports prosthetic teeth and intensely studied some of Mercury’s most iconic performances in order to nail the singer’s physicality.
“It was mentally and physically exhausting beyond anything I’ve quite endured in the same way,” Malek told IndieWire about the role last year. “The first season of ‘Mr. Robot’ tested all of my limits as to what my mind and body could endure. This pushed that even further.”
Following his Golden Globes victory, Malek next competes for the Best Actor trophy at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, January 27. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is now playing in theaters.