Oscar winner Mahershala Ali

Lainey Posted by Lainey at March 15, 2017 15:11:02 March 15, 2017 15:11:02

That’s one of the privileges of winning an Oscar. That’s how you are introduced – as an Oscar winner. It becomes associated with your name. Speaking of names, and because I can hold a grudge forever, because I am a bitter c-nt, I’m still mad at Jimmy Kimmel for his name foolery at the Oscars, mocking Mahershala’s name right after the man had just won an Oscar, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. At a time when… well… you know the times, I don’t have to tell you about these times and those who are being marginalised so much in these times.

Did you ever read the profile on Mahershala in Vanity Fair last fall? He was born Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. And, as you he tells the magazine, he’s thought about his name a lot:

“I wanted to take on my full name, which was sort of a crazy thing to do considering that we’re in Hollywood,” he tells Vanity Fair. By some industry miracle, Ali was never pressured by agents or managers to change it back. But then he started having dreams about shortening his 18-letter first name (taken after the longest name in the Bible) to Mahershala, which he initially resisted. He finally reconsidered after working on The Place Beyond the Pines, when he found out his name wasn’t going to fit on the poster. “M. Ali” wasn’t an appealing alternative—so he changed it.

The switch also carried deeper meaning for the 42-year-old actor. “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,” he says. “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.”

And now his name is on one of the most exclusive list of names. With a new title, Oscar winner.

Here’s Oscar winner Mahershala Ali at the THR Power Stylists dinner last night pulling off that great shirt.

Photos:
Donato Sardella/ Getty Images

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