Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor for his role as Juan in Moonlight. Ali poses with the award at the Governors Ball at Hollywood & Highland Center. Photograph:( AFP )
"I've spent a long time playing the man next to the man next to the man. Finally, I'm getting to play the man!" Ali told Heat magazine.
Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali says he finds it "frustrating" that black artistes do not get cast on the basis of their talent. The actor, whose career breakout role came as fixer Remy Danton in 'House of Cards', believes the role gave casting directors "permission" to put him in their projects.
"I had many years of auditioning, booking gigs, almost booking jobs and making some real allies in the business - people who wanted to cast me in things but I just wasn't a big enough name. What 'House of Cards' did was give people permission to cast me.
"It can be frustrating. Just to be frank with you, African-Americans don't really get cast on potential. I hope that now I will have a window where I can finally do a lot of the kind of work I've been wanting to do for a long time. I've spent a long time playing the man next to the man next to the man. Finally, I'm getting to play the man!" Ali told Heat magazine.
Following the success of 'House of Cards', the 45-year-old actor went on to win two Oscars in Best Actor in a Supporting Role category for 'Moonlight' (2016) and 'Green Book' (2019).
This year he also played the lead role of a troubled police officer in the third season of the HBO anthology crime series 'True Detective'. Ali previously revealed he had to convince creator Nic Pizzolatto to change the character's ethnicity to black.