BIG-TIME SHOUT-OUT

Marquette native mentioned in Golden Globes speech

Rami Malek poses with his agent, Annabel Gualazzi, who is a native of Marquette, at the 2016 Primetime Emmys ceremonies in Los Angeles. Malek won an acting Emmy the night this photo was taken for his work in “Mr. Robot.” On Sunday, Malek included a thank you to Gualazzi in his speech. (Photo courtesy of Annabel Gualazzi)Rami Malek poses with his agent, Annabel Gualazzi, who is a native of Marquette, at the 2016 Primetime Emmys ceremonies in Los Angeles. Malek won an acting Emmy the night this photo was taken for his work in “Mr. Robot.” On Sunday, Malek included a thank you to Gualazzi in his speech. (Photo courtesy of Annabel Gualazzi)

MARQUETTE — Marquette native Annabel Gualazzi was watching the Golden Globe Awards broadcast Sunday, just like 19 million other Americans.

The difference between her and most of the other viewers? Her name was mentioned during the thank you speech by Rami Malek, who won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his work as Freddie Mercury in the film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Gualazzi is Malek’s agent.

“It was an honor to be included in Rami’s thank you speech,” Gualazzi said in an email. “I never expect that kind of public acknowledgement from clients but that’s just the kind of guy he is — truly one of the most kind and gracious people I’ve ever met and I feel lucky to be in his life.”

A 2000 graduate of Marquette Senior High School and a 2005 graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations, Gualazzi lives in Southern California and has worked in the entertainment industry for 13 years.

“My sister was already living in Southern California when I graduated from MSU and encouraged me to join her,” Gualazzi said. “I had wanted to go to NYC (New York City) but didn’t have a job yet so my dad drove me from Marquette to Newport Beach, California, in August of 2005 and I moved in with my sister.

“I was actively looking for a job but didn’t really know what I wanted to do so when I was given the opportunity to interview at a talent agency in Los Angeles, I thought it sounded interesting so I went for it,” she said. “I ended up getting my first job in the entertainment industry at ICM in 2006 working as an assistant to a talent agent. A few years later, I was offered a job as an assistant to a talent agent at William Morris Agency which then became WME and it was there that I was promoted to an agent in the talent department in 2009.”

She has known Malek for six years and has been part of his team since 2015.

Gualazzi did not attend the Golden Globes ceremony this year — for a very special reason.

“I was not at the Golden Globes this year as I’m on maternity leave but I was so excited and very proud when Rami won,” she said. “He poured his heart and soul into becoming Freddie and his incredible work deserves this award and more.”

Gualazzi’s son, Jude, was born Nov. 27 to her and her significant other, Trevor Hautamaki, another Marquette native who’s living in California.

Baby Jude is part of the reason Gualazzi plans to keep her ties to the Marquette area going strong — him and all the family she still has in this area.

“The majority of my family is still in Marquette — except for my twin sister (Christina Gualazzi) who also lives in L.A. and works in the entertainment industry,” she said.

“Still in Marquette is my dad (Nick Gualazzi Jr.), my mom (Gwen Erickson) and my brother (Nick Gualazzi),” she said. “Trevor also grew up in Marquette and with both our families being there, including Jude’s big brother Caleb (Hautamaki), it’s very important to us that he feel connected to the place we still refer to as ‘home.'”

“I spent the past 13 years focused on building my career but have always wanted to have kids so I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to be Jude’s mom.”

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 240. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal.net.