The 43-year-old actor looks incredible in the magazine’s latest photo spread, posing on a beach in tropical shirts. The cover is particularly notable as Ali is a black, Muslim man gracing the front page of the American issue.
As interviewer Carvell Wallace describes him, Ali “looks in real life the way old MGM movies made leading men look on screen,” adding that he is “vivid and dashing.”
We couldn’t agree more. We don’t want to look away from Ali’s gloriousness, and neither does Twitter:
In the profile, Ali is described as a “performer who hustled his whole life to make a living for himself,” taking on roles that can be best be identified as the “Kindly Black Dude Who Helps a White Guy in Trouble.” But with his recent success as a key player on shows like “House of Cards” and “Luke Cage,” followed by an Oscar win for his standout performance in “Moonlight,” Ali is no longer that “dude.”
GQ also touched on Mahershala’s real name (who knew Mahershala wasn’t his real name??): Mahershalalhashbaz, a Hebrew name that is the longest in the Old Testament, which translates to “Hurry to the spoils!”
Additionally, Ali told GQ about his conversion to Islam ― ”It benefits me from the standpoint of really creating empathy for these characters that I try to embody, other human beings with issues as deep and personal as my own” ― and what it’s like being a black man in modern America ― “I think African-Americans have a very convoluted relationship with patriotism. The fact is, we essentially were the abused child. We still love the parent, but you can’t overlook the fact that we have a very convoluted relationship with the parent.”
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