Young Egyptian actor Ramy Malek made it into the history book of the Emmy awards on Sunday night by winning the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award for his remarkable performance of hacker Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot.
Only one season of the drama series was enough for 35-year-old Malek to shine, setting the spotlight on his talent and sense of humour.
“Please tell me you’re seeing this too!” Malek joked in disbelief before he stopped to catch his breath after his name was announced a winner.
“I am honoured to be recognised with such a distinguished and accomplished group of actors,” said Malek after he received his award, adding: “I’m honoured to work with pure visionary Sam Esmail [the show’s producer]. I wouldn’t be here without you, to go to work with an absurdly gifted cast, and crew, and writers”.
The award is Malek’s first Emmy nomination. By winning it, Malek has become the second actor who is the descendant of Arab immigrants to win an Emmy, following Tony Shalhoub, who was granted the prestigious award three times for Monk.
“We all have things in common with Elliot. We live in a world where so many of us feel voiceless, like we’re not being heard by our governments or our society,” Malek said in his backstage speech.
“I grew up in a family that migrated here. My dad worked door-to-door to sell insurances and my mother was pregnant with my brother and she would go to work by three buses so that they would give their children an opportunity to be special. So, a lot of people can relate to us by wanting to get an opportunity,” he added.
In his category, Malek had been competing against Kyle Chandler of Bloodline, Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul, Matthew Rhys of The Americans, and Kevin Spacey of House of Cards at the 68th annual Emmy Awards.
In addition to his award, Mr. Robot was nominated for six more awards including Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Music Composition, Outstanding Casting, and Outstanding Sound Mixing.
The show was also picked as TV Programme of the Year by the American Film Institute (AFI) and won a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series. It also won the Best Episodic at the 2015 SXSW Film Audience Award.
The show is directed and produced by 39-year-old Egyptian-American Sam Esmail.