Hometown ‘Moonlight’ star ready for Oscars

(WSVN) - “Moonlight” is going for gold in eight categories, Sunday night, at the Oscars, and many of its stars are from the city it portrays.

The independent, low budget film, directed by Barry Jenkins, tells the story of a gay black man growing up in Liberty City, and many critics have hailed it for tackling tough issues. On Sunday night, it could walk away with an Oscar for Best Picture.

One of the film’s younger stars, Patrick Decile, left his inner nice guy behind for his gritty role as a bully. It was his first time on the silver screen, and he shared his experience with 7News.

“It’s certainly been a crazy ride,” Decile told 7News. “I’ve been getting recognized from people who probably wouldn’t have given me a second glance.”

Although it was his first time on the big screen, you couldn’t tell. He even surprised his mother.

“He kept it on the down low. He didn’t tell me about it until I actually saw it, and I was like, who is this person? Not Patrick at all,” Destina Decile.

The family had no idea the movie would be such a hit.

“We didn’t believe it was going to come this far,” Destina said. “When they cast him for the role, we were still iffy about what type of movie it was because it was considered a low budget film.”

Patrick has been in the arts since he was young, starting in music and poetry.

“I’m blessed, and it’s a momentous opportunity,” he said.

He added that he’s proud of the issues in the movie.

“The entire cast is pretty much African-American,” he said, “and last year, the Oscars had a problem with the Oscars are So White, and delving into the whole LGBTQ topic, is, just making it more, makes it more open, noticeable and breaking all kinds of barriers.”

Patrick will fly to Los Angeles on Friday for the Independent Spirit Awards, where the cast is being honored for Best Acting Ensemble.

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