Catching Up With the Cast of 'Moonlight'

Director Barry Jenkins and the movie's cast members discuss why this film is taking the country by storm.
3:34 | 11/25/16

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Transcript for Catching Up With the Cast of 'Moonlight'
We'll talk now though about what could be the biggest I believe the best movie of the year. Critics are calling it a masterpiece and our robin Roberts sat down with the stars and director, take a look. What you looking at me like that for? Reporter: Once in a while a movie comes along that sweeps everyone off their feet. Stop putting your head down in my house. You know my rule. It's all love and all pride in this house. Reporter: This year, "Moonlight" is a film critics are calling perfect and a flat out masterpiece. At some point you have to decide for yourself who you want to be. You can't let nobody make that decision for you. Reporter: Told in three parts, it follows the story of shyrone, struggling with his sexual identity while growing up in a tough neighborhood in liberty city, Florida, and with a mother fighting a drug addiction. What happened? Huh? What happened, shyrone? Why you didn't come home like you're supposed to? Reporter: Director Barry Jenkins adapted the movie from a play written byty Rell mccrainie. A personal project for Jenkins who also grew up in the same city as the main character with a mother who also struggled with drugs. Naomie Harris plays Paula. Shyrone's mom. Mahershala Ali takes a break from "House of cards" to play Juan, a drug dealer who shyrone looks up to. Challenging roles for both actors who took on this film mindful of the stereotypes they wanted to defy. I had some reservations because I just think there are enough stereotypes of women and black women in particular in film and in television and I just wanted to make it my mission in terms of the choices I made with my career to portray positive images of black women in particular and I kind of drew the line at playing a crack addict but when I spoke to Barry, he explained how personal the story was to him and, you know, how it would be basically playing his mum and I realized he had a vested interest in ensuring this character wasn't a stereotype and she had her full humanity and complexity. What is the conversation tt you all want people to have when they leave the theater after seeing this, Barry? You know, for me I feel like people keep saying we don't see characters like shyrone represent us very often. Before seeing it some people assume they can't relate to a character like that or to a person like that. I think after seeing this film they realize as we've been saying he's a human being. You know, so maybe, you know, you're having a bad day. That person is having a bad day. Talk to one another. Empathize. I think so often in life, you know, we focus on the differences between us and here's a film that encourages us to see that actually we're more similar than we are dissimilar and that's really beautiful and I think it's a healing antidote we need this time more than ever. It's about empathy and understanding. Just dove tail on what they were saying and we're just proud of this film. I feel like we made a good film and we just want opportunities to work on the same level as other people, we don't get to tell these stories enough and to be part of an art film, something of this caliber and this type of offering is just a real gift for me, for all of us, but in terms of just the story itself it's about empathy. And I can't emphasize strongly enough how moving that movie is. "Moonlight" is in theaters right now and I encourage you to go. For robin's full interview head to her Facebook page, coming up

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