AP NEWS

Mahershala Ali ready to focus on baby

February 27, 2017 GMT

Mahershala Ali is looking forward to spending quality time with his new baby daughter now awards season is over.

The 43-year-old actor has had a hectic few months with his film ‘Moonlight’ proving a success at a number of awards ceremonies, but he is now ready to “get into” being a dad to little Bari Najma, who was born on February 22, and spending time with wife Amatus Sami-Karin.

He said of being a father: “It’s been remarkable. I know I really get to get into it tomorrow because awards season is done after tonight, but it’s been remarkable. It’s such a blessing to be a father.”

And Mahershala - who scooped the Best Actor in a Supporting Role at Sunday’s (26.02.17) Oscars - has a new admiration for how “tough” his wife is after witnessing her going through childbirth without pain relief.

Speaking on the red carpet at the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, he told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: “Hands down, women are the toughest beings on the planet.

“I’m not saying that to be cool. I don’t care if you have children, choose to have children. I don’t care if you took every pain medication in the world to have children.

“She did not [have an epidural]. She had it natural.

“I’m telling you, women are the toughest beings on the planet -- incredible seeing this eight-pound being come out of your body and just work that out. Unbelievable.”

And the actor was amazed at how quickly Amatus went through labour as she “knocked it out” and their little girl was born faster than anyone had expected.

He said: “She just kicked in so quickly that the doctor came in sprinting, sweating. The doula came in, like, ‘What?!’ It just started happening really quickly and my wife just knocked it out. I don’t have the words, honestly.”

In his Oscar acceptance speech, Mahershala thanked his wife for her support and admitted beforehand it was important for him to acknowledge everything she does for him.

He said: “I just want to tell her I love her and she’s gonna know that every day. Every day I’m around, she’s going to know that.”