Time stood still for Mahershala Ali as he accepted his first Oscar — and he still gets "choked up about it." 

Ali, who won Best Supporting Actor at the 89th Oscars for his performance in Moonlight, reflects on the life-changing moment in A.frame's "Behind the Oscars Speech" series, calling it "one of the most special things I've ever experienced." 

"Just to see so many people out there that I admire and love and appreciate and have been inspired by, like, clapping for me and for our film, I still can get choked up about it," he shares. "I'm a little speechless now. This is how I felt, speechless." 

The actor managed to find his words, going on to thank his wife, actress and musician Amatus Sami-Karim, who had given birth to their daughter four days prior to the Oscars. "Don't get pregnant during awards season, and don't get your partner pregnant during awards season," Ali jokes now. "It's already crazy, so you don't want to add babies to that." 

It was a big night for Ali, as Moonlight also won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer-director Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, from whose play the film is adapted. Moonlight unfolds across three stages in the life of a man as he grapples with his sexuality and identity. In addition to Ali, the cast includes Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, and Naomie Harris.

"I was amazed and in awe of it all," Ali shares. 


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