‘Moonlight’ Oscar nominee interviews: Mahershala Ali, Barry Jenkins, and more [WATCH]

Shot in just twenty-five days on a budget of $1.5 million, “Moonlight” has proven to be the little-movie-that-could this Oscar season. The A24 release about a young black gay man coming of age in a rough Miami neighborhood snagged eight nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Barry Jenkins), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney). Ali and Jenkins recently sat down with Gold Derby to discuss their work on the film.

Ali recently won the SAG Award for his role as Juan, a drug dealer who becomes a father figure to Chiron (Alex Hibbert), a young boy whose mother (Harris) is an addict. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever had the opportunity to be apart of,” he reveals. “Playing someone like that who is that layered is something that I definitely welcomed.”

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Jenkins, who grew up in Miami, adapted the script from McCraney’s play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. “I thought Tarell had done just a wonderful job of capturing the voice of this place where we were from,” he recalls, “and of centering a character like Chiron. A character like this, and even the world our film is set in, usually exists on the margins of someone else’s narrative.”

Among the below-the-line contenders, we spoke with cinematographer James Laxton, film editors Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders, and composer Nicholas Britell.

Click on any of the names below to be taken to their full interview:

Mahershala Ali, who plays Juan

Barry Jenkins, director and co-writer

James Laxton, cinematographer (click here for our Meet the Experts interview)

Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders, film editors

Nicholas Britell, composer (click here for our Meet the Experts interview)

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We also spoke with co-stars Trevante Rhodes and Janelle Monae.

Click on any of the names below to be taken to their full interview:

Trevante Rhodes, who plays Black

Janelle Monae, who plays Teresa

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