With Oscar season underway, top contenders in each category are starting to be rounded out as they are screened and discussed among the film community. Among them is Moonlight Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, who is receiving high acclaim for his role in the ’60s-set drama Green Book as a renowned pianist opposite Viggo Mortenson, who plays his tour driver. If Ali wins another Oscar this year, he will be one of few actors to have won every Oscar they’ve been nominated for.
When Green Book premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, it nabbed the Audience Award (yes even over A Star is Born). The distinction has also been given to past Best Picture winners such as Slumdog Millionaire and 12 Years a Slave. Since then, buzz has started to pick up surrounding the release that has Mahershala Ali’s character feeling out of place by both black and white communities of the Deep South while on tour. If Ali scores a nomination from the Academy, it would be his second, and if he wins, he would go down in history with a select few in an exclusive 2-for-2 club along with being the only person of color to have joined their ranks.
According to Gold Derby, currently six actors have won every Oscar they’ve been nominated for and it’s a record dominated by female actresses. ’30s actress Luise Rainer, Gone With the Wind lead Vivien Leigh and Airport‘s Helen Hayes have earned the distinction along with Kevin Spacey, Hilary Swank and Christoph Waltz. Spacey earned the award after his performances in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, Swank for her leading roles in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby and Waltz for his work with Tarantino in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. 2-for-2 is as high as it goes for perfect Oscar win records, an achievement Sally Field might have surpassed if she won Best Actress for Lincoln.
Before winning his first Oscar for Moonlight, Mahershala Ali started as a television actor, most famously as his recurring character Remy in House of Cards and Luke Cage Season 1 villain Cottonmouth, and he also portrayed Boggs in The Hunger Games movies. Ali will soon lend his voice to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and star in the third season of True Detective in January 2019. Green Book comes to theaters on November 21.