Trevante Rhodes isn’t gay but his character in the new drama Moonlight is.
Still, the 26-year-old knows things could have easily been different.
‘I was born loving women but I easily could have been born loving men,’ Rhodes tells People.com.
‘It’s the exact same sensation. You don’t fall in love with someone [just] for their physical [traits], but for their mental.’
The young actor plays the character of Chiron as an adult in a film that tells the story of a poor, gay, black boy growing up in Miami and coming to terms with his homosexuality.
‘It was really just about me it was really just falling in love with the person that [my co-star] André Holland is,’ Rhodes says. ‘I respect him, I love him for the father figure he is.’
Two other actors play younger versions of Chiron in the movie based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.
‘It talks about a subject matter that is so prevalent today,’ Rhodes says.
‘Being a black man in America is relatively difficult right now, being a gay man in America is incredibly difficult. And so being a black, gay man … can be perceived as the worst possible thing right now.
‘So it is something that we need, that the world needs, and I’m thinking it’s a beautiful thing that people are receiving it. I didn’t think we were ready for something like that. And it’s really surprising and really refreshing to me to see that people are.’
Moonlight opened in just four theaters last weekend and managed to earn an impressive $402,075. Its $100,519 per theater average is the highest for any film released so far in 2016. It opens wider across the US on 4 November.
Rhodes is new to movies. He was still a college track star at the University of Texas when he was discovered by a casting director while jogging on campus.