Rami Malek Opens His Emmys Acceptance With A Perfect ‘Mr. Robot’ Reference

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Here is the complete list of Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series winners since 2007: Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Damian Lewis, Jeff Daniels, and Jon Hamm. This category has been dominated by a steady group of (mostly) terrifically deserving actors for the past 10 years — in fact, the last time Cranston or Hamm weren’t nominated for their outstanding work in Breaking Bad and Mad Men was in 2006-2007. Both of those shows are sadly gone now, though. Who could possibly step in for Walter White and Don Draper (and, um, Will McAvoy)?

Let the reign of Rami begin. The clearly shocked Mr. Robot star got off to a good start by channeling Elliot Alderson in a terrific reference that a surprising number of attendees (especially The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys) understood. In his speech, Malek said, “I’m honored to stand here and represent my family and every single person who has helped me to get this far. I’m honored to work with a pure visionary in [showrunner] Sam Esmail. I wouldn’t be here without you.” He later added, “I play a young man who I think, like so many of us, is profoundly alienated. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure how many of us would want to hang out with a guy like Elliot, but I want to honor all the Elliots, because there’s a little bit of Elliot in all of us.”

And now Elliot’s an Emmy winner, too.