EXCLUSIVE: Rami Malek has been chosen for this year’s Breakthrough Performance Award at the 30th Annual Palm Springs Film Festival for his acclaimed performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. The honor will be presented at the Film Awards Gala on Thursday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs January 3-14.
“In the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek fully brings to life and embodies musical legend Freddie Mercury, in what is truly an outstanding performance for this fine actor,” said festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For his portrayal that is garnering much critical acclaim, it is our honor to present the 2018 Breakthrough Performance Award to Rami Malek.”
Malek joins previously announced honoree Glenn Close, who will receive the Icon Award. Past recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mahershala Ali, Mary J. Blige, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike and Jeremy Renner. In the years they were honored, Ali, Cotillard, Hudson, Larson and Nyong’o went on to receive Oscars, while Blige, Huffman, Pike and Renner received nominations, so it is not a bad thing to be recognized with it.
Malek is the star of the USA Network’s psychological drama Mr. Robot. For his role as Elliot Alderson, Malek won an Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award, and is also a two-time Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee. His film credits include Michael Noer’s Papillon, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne, and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12.