Oscar winner Mahershala Ali is one of Hollywood’s most popular actors right now, but he’s refusing to let fame affect him. A source exclusively tells Closer that he’s getting a rep for being one of the most down to earth stars of his generation.

“Mahershala’s personality, and just the way he lives his life, has not changed one bit over the last five years where he has become something of a household name,” the True Detective actor’s friend reveals. “He still lives in the same neighborhood he did when he was just a jobbing actor and still has the same friend group, even though he’s been working with some of the most famous people on the planet, like Julia Roberts and the Obamas.”

“This is the only person anyone’s ever heard of where winning an Oscar did not go to his head. To Mahershala’s credit, he is an incredibly open-minded guy and treats everybody the same: with total respect, whether they’re running a film set or bussing tables at the local coffee shop,” the source adds. “That’s not been the key to his amazing rise in Hollywood, because the guy is an awesome actor and never phones it in, but his unusual, calm and humble attitude certainly hasn’t hurt him, and it’s probably made it easier for him to be on a set with costars and coworkers who have way-larger-than-life personalities.”

On top of his Oscar-winning performances in 2017’s Moonlight and 2019’s Green Book, he’s also earned a Golden Globe, an Emmy and three Screen Actors Guild Awards from various projects. Most recently, he starred in Netflix’s 2023 thriller Leave the World Behind and the animated superhero film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Plus, he’s got multiple projects currently in the works.

“Even since his rise to fame, he has had to deal with some adversity,” the source adds. “It’s been almost five years since he was announced as the lead of Marvel’s upcoming Blade reboot and despite a lot of problems behind the scenes on that project just to get to a script worthy of filming, Mahershala has stuck with the project and been very patient with all the changes behind the scenes. He’s not somebody you can rattle easily, not one bit!”

Mahershala Ali Is 'Patient' Amid Problems With Blade Reboot
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Just recently, original Blade star Wesley Snipes spoke out after the film’s reboot lost its director for the second time.

“Blade, lordylordylordy 👀 folks still lookin for the secret sauce, ridin snowmobiles in traffic, kinda rough,” Wesley, 61, wrote on X on June 15. “Daywalkers make it look easy, don’t they? 😊,” he added, along with the hashtags “#DaywalkerKlique,” “#Blade” and “#Marvel.”

It was announced earlier this month that the second director tapped to lead the film, Yann Demange, was dropping out of the project. The reboot’s original director, Bassam Tariq, dropped out of the project in 2022. Still, Mahershala, 50, has remained rather optimistic about working on the film.

“We’re working on it. That’s the best I could tell you,” he told Entertainment Weekly in December 2023. “I’m really encouraged with the direction of the project. I think we’ll be back at it relatively soon.”

“I’m sincerely encouraged in terms of where things are at and who’s on board and who’s leading the way as far as the writing of the script and the directing and all that,” he added. “So that’s the extent of what I can tell you.”