|Tarell Alvin McCraney|
Recently, Greg Hernandez had a chance to interview Oscar nominee Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight). Enjoy the excerpt below.
Tarell Alvin McCraney is the man who essentially lived Moonlight. The film, nominated for eight Academy Awards including best picture, is largely based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue which McCraney wrote in 2003. ‘A great deal of the story is based on my life and (writer-director) Barry Jenkins’ life in Miami for sure,’ McCraney told me recently. ‘A lot of those events happened to me.’
Jenkins and McCraney grew up just blocks away from each other in the same housing project in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. They even went to the same elementary school at the same time but did not know each other.
There were other similarities as well. Both men grew up in poverty with mothers who were addicted to drugs. It was as adults that they met when Jenkins contacted McCraney about adapting his play to the screen. Now they share an Oscar nomination in the adapted screenplay category. ‘There is an element of excitement and fun to (the recognition) but even more than that there’s something that feels like we made good on a promise to our younger selves,’ says McCraney, 36.
Although McCraney is gay and Jenkins is straight, both see themselves in the movie’s main character of Chiron who lives in a Miami housing project with his mother who is addicted to crack. READ MORE