About Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali is an American actor and rapper who has been nominated for two Academy Awards and has won two Oscars. He started his career on television shows such as Crossing Jordan, The 4400, and Threat Matrix. He made his feature film debut in 2008 with the drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for which he received critical acclaim. His breakout role came in 2016 when he starred in the science fiction drama Moonlight, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He has since appeared in high profile films such as Hidden Figures, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, and Alita: Battle Angel. In 2020, he won his second Academy Award for his performance in the drama Green Book.
30 Interesting Things Most People Don’t Know About Mahershala Ali
• He is a two-time Academy Award winner, for Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight (2016) and Best Actor for Green Book (2018).
• He was a college basketball player prior to becoming an actor, playing for St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
• He is a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has a blue belt in the martial art.
• He is the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.
• He was born in Oakland, California and grew up in Hayward, California.
• He is a member of the band Free Moral Agents and released an album in 2011 called The Free Moral Agents.
• He is also a rapper and goes by the name of Prince Ali.
• He is a part of the rap group The Weapons of Mass Destruction.
• He is a vegan and a major advocate for animal rights.
• He is the first African American actor to win two Oscars in the same year (2018).
• He completed a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from New York University.
• He was an executive producer on the critically acclaimed film Moonlight (2016).
• He is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
• He was a mentor for the Sundance Institute and the Tribeca Film Institute.
• He is an avid chess player and has a passion for the game.
• He is a fan of the Golden State Warriors NBA team and has been seen at games.
• He was the first Muslim actor to host Saturday Night Live.
• He voiced the role of Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2014).
• He was the first actor to play Marvel’s Cottonmouth in Luke Cage (2016).
• He was a series regular on the HBO series True Detective (2015-2016).
• He was the first Muslim actor to be cast in a Star Wars movie, appearing in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
• He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the play Stick Fly (2012).
• He was the first African American actor to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and a Critics Choice Award in the same year (2018).
• He is an ordained minister and officiated a wedding in 2018.
• He is a director and has directed music videos, short films and a documentary.