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Mahershala Ali explains how he won’t accept film roles with sex scenes as it’s against his religion

Mahershala Ali explains how he will not accept film roles with sex scenes as it’s against his religion: ‘If there’s a sex scene, I can’t do it’

He’s a highly respected two-time Academy Award-winning actor.

And Mahershala Ali opened up about a particular aspect of his approach to film acting this week, when he was a guest on Common’s podcast Mind Power Mixtape.

The Moonlight star, 46, explained that simulating a love scene would go against his Islamic religion, which has strict protocols when it comes to modesty.

Modest actor: Mahershala Ali opened up about a particular aspect of his approach to film acting this week

It came up when Ali was discussing one of his earlier film roles, in the 2008 movie The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. 

‘So my old agent called me and said, “Mahershala, you got the part,”‘ he recollected. 

‘And I said, “There’s just one thing… There is that one sex scene where they kiss… If there’s a sex scene, I can’t do it.”‘

Limits: The Moonlight star explained that simulating a love scene would go against his Islamic religion; seen here with Taraji P. Henson in 2008's The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Limits: The Moonlight star explained that simulating a love scene would go against his Islamic religion; seen here with Taraji P. Henson in 2008’s The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

He later added, ‘I don’t do simulated sex.’

Nonetheless, Mahershala indeed went on to act in the film, and he explained to Common how Benjamin Button director David Fincher manage to construct the scene while still respecting Ali’s beliefs.

‘Taraji and I begin to kiss, and we fall out of the frame… It wasn’t clear if [Fincher] was trying to have like some bumping and grinding … which I doubt he was,’ he said. 

'At that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, "OK, I can only go up to this point," just because of — just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion,' the actor said; seen here in 2019

‘At that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, “OK, I can only go up to this point,” just because of — just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion,’ the actor said; seen here in 2019

‘But for me even … at that time, 15 years ago, I was still like, “OK, I can only go up to this point,” just because of — just trying to hold a space of respect for my religion.’ 

After that film, Ali went on to several other projects including TV appearances in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as well as the action film Predators, before taking on the career-changing role of Juan in 2016‘s Best Picture Oscar-winning film Moonlight.

It was for that movie Mahershala was awarded his first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

After Benjamin Button: Mahershala was awarded his first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the career-changing role of Juan in 2016‘s Best Picture winner Moonlight

After Benjamin Button: Mahershala was awarded his first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the career-changing role of Juan in 2016‘s Best Picture winner Moonlight

And two years later, he received the same statuette for his role of Dr. Donald Shirley in Green Book, opposite Viggo Mortensen.

That movie was also awarded the Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year.

Up Next for Ali are three projects, including a voice role in the Amazon TV series invincible.

And two years later: He received the same statuette for his role of Dr. Donald Shirley in Green Book, opposite Viggo Mortensen

And two years later: He received the same statuette for his role of Dr. Donald Shirley in Green Book, opposite Viggo Mortensen

He is also currently filming a dramatic sci-fi film titled Swan Song. 

Finally, Mahershala is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the new Blade, a vampire superhero.

Blade was first portrayed in three films by actor Wesley Snipes.

New projects: Mahershala is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the new Blade, a vampire superhero; seen here with his Green Book Oscar in February of 2019

New projects: Mahershala is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the new Blade, a vampire superhero; seen here with his Green Book Oscar in February of 2019

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