Mahershala Ali Talks 'Moonlight' Live on 'GMA'

The "House of Cards" actor discusses his recent movie roles live from Times Square.
5:26 | 01/04/17

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Transcript for Mahershala Ali Talks 'Moonlight' Live on 'GMA'
We're going bring to the table someone you all know from house of cards and the hunger games. Golden globe nominee is in one of the best movies of the year, "Moonlight." Please welcome mahershala Ali. ??? Good to see you. Welcome back. So happy to see you again. You're having a -- quite a year. I hear some very exciting personal news. Yeah. You and your wife are expecting a byby, congratulations. Yes. Congratulations. Yeah, so um, I'm ready to be real tired. Yeah. Well done. We're excited. There's a lot of celebrating going on because you're up for a golden globe for "Moonlight." And you just won a critic's choice for the role as well. You said when you were filming it you knew it was something special. Oh, yeah. From the first time I read the script. The first time I read it, I think everyone involved will tell you they got choked up and just really connected to the story. It's connecting with audiences, too. It's a special -- Why do you think audiences have embraced it? I think a lot of people feel like they're on the fringes right now. A little bit outside and away from center. Not necessarily represented. And in the most truthful or most connected way. And so I think even though there's -- there's very few people I think in general that can specifically connect to his experience, think in some way, all of us have been the other. The person on the outside. Maybe not persecuted to the degree in which this young man is. But I think we all want to be loved and embraced and need connection and support. And family. And mentorship. And so, I think people are seeing that and recognizing the humanity in every individual. And in fact, we have a clip. Let's take a look at it. Nobody. I found him yesterday. Found him in a hole on 15th. Yeah, that one. Some boys chased him. He's scared more than anything. Wouldn't tell me where he lived until this morning. It's a long way from "House of cards." It is. Um, and -- and, but just -- just as important and if not more to my heart. Like I really felt connected to the character. I was working on "House of cards" and doing this. And I really missed this character. I would go away, back to Baltimore. Or Brooklyn. And Harlem, where we were shooting. And I just kept thinking about Juan and really missing that character. Kind of -- missing him during the process of shooting it. And then kind of mourning him later. And because of this -- you know, sort of awards tour thing, U.S. Getting to share the film so much with people. He's back with you. He's back with me. So I get to think about him. Is that something new, missing a character? To this degree, yes. And used to -- usually when you find yourself connected to a character. As an actor, you're kind of embodying another spirit for a period of time. So you have to let it go. Kind of mourn them and shed them over time. This has brought it all back. It's with me in a different way because I'm just not accustomed to this type of prolonged sort of experience with the character and something being received to this degree. Can I just say I saw "Hidden figures." Mahershala is in that as well. Oh, you did? You have been on fire. It's such an incredible, powerful movie. You to ever miss your first character? Playing basketball. You went to college on a basketball scholarship. We have a picture of you. Oh, no. Oh, wow. Where did you go? That's high school, actually. Because the short shorts era. Whoo! That is the early '90s right there. Yes. That's mt. Eden high school in Hayward, California. I went to St. Mary's college. Played basketball on scholarship. I don't know if I miss it, per se, but I learned a lot it informs me to this day and really -- it really remind mes to take personal responsibility in terms of my experience. And really just -- encourages me to just do the work. I have always played on teams. So "Moonlight" for instance, and "Hidden figures." They're wonderful ensembles. It reminds me to do my job and my personal best for the good of the team. When you get the ball, take it to the hoop. If not, pass it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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