Malek appears to have accidentally slipped while trying to exit the stage after the live broadcast had panned away from him. The “Bohemian Rhapsody” star had to set his Oscar down on the edge of the stage as audience members sitting in the front row came to his aid.
Paramedics were quickly called to the scene, and treated Malek from a seat in the front row. He was later moved to a private area backstage, but did not appear to be visibly hurt when he arrived in the press room later to speak. Malek’s reps declined to comment.
Comedian Chelsea Peretti posted a photo of the fall on Instagram, captioned “most important moment for me personally.” When another Instagram user asked what happened, she said, “There was a hole in the stairs w like a 20 foot drop to the orchestra and homeduder almost fell down but caught himself on his arms and was dangling.”
After learning he had won the coveted prize for best actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Malek kissed his girlfriend and co-star, Lucy Boynton, who plays Mercury’s ex-fiancée Mary Austin in the film.
His mother was the first person he thanked in his acceptance speech.
“My mom is in here somewhere, I love you,” he said. “My family, thank you for all of this. My dad didn’t get to see me do any of this, but I think he’s looking down on me right now. This is a monumental moment.”
“I might not have been the obvious choice, but I guess it worked out,” he added. “Thank you Queen. Thank you guys for allowing me to be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy. I am forever in your debt.”
He finished the speech by calling Boynton “the heart of this film.”
Later in the press room, Malek took another moment to reflect on the win and to consider how far he’s come.
“The one thing I can say about this, as an actor, there are so many of us who dream of one thing. Perhaps it’s not this, it’s just getting a job. The fact that I have this is beyond any expectation that myself or my family could have ever had. I’ll just say that,” he told reporters. “This has been a tough battle and the fact that I’m here is proof that anything is possible. Tonight I’m celebrating with all of you and anyone who has had a dream.”