Tarell Alvin McCraney: It's hard to watch Moonlight

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 17 February 2017
Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney says he found it 'hard' to watch 'Moonlight' despite writing the initial script

Tarell Alvin McCraney admitted he found it hard to watch 'Moonlight' despite writing the initial script.

The 36-year-old American playwright and actor penned the initial script for the Oscar-nominated film 'Moonlight' back in 2003 - after his mother died from AIDS-related complications.

The film stars Naomie Harris, who plays the lead character Paula. It started previewing in the UK last week, is nominated for eight Academy Awards and so far has taken more than £200,000 at the box office.

But in an interview with Daily Mail, McCraney admitted he found it difficult to watch the movie.

He said: "I have made myself watch it, and Naomie's depiction is so accurate. It's hard to watch, because I wish she was here. But at the same time, I know she would be suffering."

His mother had been addicted to crack, and died in her early 40s.

He said: "Her mind was gone. She was suffering near-dementia."

But in a bid to help him come to terms with her death, he started writing his feelings down. He said: "I felt very lost, and I wanted to find a way to concentrate a lot of these guilty feelings."

McCraney's guilt stemmed from the fact he wasn't at his mum's bedside when she died - he last saw her a couple of months before she passed away.

He hadn't planned on writing a script but saw its cinematic scope as soon as he read back his work but decided to shelve it.

The script only came to light when a friend asked him if he had any material that might work as a film.

The script was passed to director Barry Jenkins, whose own mother was also an addict.

Harris, 39, portrays a woman called Paula, who is battling with cocaine addiction, and ion order to get into the role she admitted she pretended she was a crippled pensioner.

The drama film, which is directed and written by Barry Jenkins, is based on the on the play 'In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue' by McCraney and explores the story of an African-American Chiron - played by Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex R. Hibbert - as he struggles to find himself at various stages of his life.

The coming-of-age film is set in three parts - childhood, adolescence and manhood - and will see Chiron battle with a difficult home life, Miami's drug-plagued inner city and his own sexuality as he goes through different stages of his life.

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