Mahershala Ali Says Bill Murray Poured Vodka All Over His Face at the 2019 Golden Globes
The 44-year-old actor, who took home the best supporting actor trophy for his performance in Green Book at the 76th annual awards, stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday to talk about his big win. But it was his run-in with the former Saturday Night Live star that had Ali smiling.
As he recalled to DeGeneres, the two were backstage at the Beverly Hills Hotel — Ali discussing the film’s win for best motion picture (musical or comedy) alongside director Peter Farrelly and costars Viggo Mortensen and Linda Cardellini — when Murray, who presented at the Globes, began spilling alcohol on their heads.
“Bill was toasting us,” Ali told DeGeneres. “Bill toasted his glass on Viggo’s head, Linda’s head, and then toasts on my head and vodka spills all over my face and is running down into my eyes and in my mouth. And I’m doing the whole interview with an eye closed.”
“Vodka in the eye … it felt like hot acid rolling down my face,” Ali recalled.
It may have hurt, but Ali certainly didn’t hold a grudge. “Hey, it’s Bill Murray!” Ali joked.
Sunday’s Golden Globe was his first win. He was previously nominated in 2017 for his role as the sympathetic father figure/drug dealer Juan in the indie drama Moonlight.
In his speech, Ali thanked his fellow nominees and his costar Mortensen, who he called “an extraordinary scene partner.”
“You pushed me every day, no days off. Even the days off weren’t days off,” Ali said. “Thank you, brother, I love you.”
The actor also thanked the three most important figures in his life. “Lastly, I have to thank my wife, my mother and my grandmother. I thank you for your prayers, I’ve needed each and every one of them,” he said.
RELATED: Green Book Is a Story About Friendship Amid Racial Tensions and Socioeconomic Differences
Green Book centers on Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class African American pianist who goes on a concert tour, played by Ali. In need of a driver and bodyguard, Shirley hires Tony Lip (Mortensen), while the two confront racism and segregation in the deep South.
Of the film being an awards season contender, Ali told Essence in November that “it didn’t cross my mind.”
“What I was thinking when I read the script was this is an amazing character,” he said. “Don Shirley had the capacity to play extraordinarily complicated music that was deemed white music. And it’s not that he’s not good enough to play it, he’s just not white enough to play it. It’s an idea that Black people have existed for centuries in this country from the standpoint of living compromised lives.”
Ali will next be on screen in True Detective, which premieres Jan. 13 (at 9 p.m. ET) on HBO.