Patrick Decile was a teenage college student at Broward College when his Intro to Acting instructor told him about an opportunity to audition for a movie that was being made in Miami. The movie, it turns out was “Moonlight” which just last month went on to win three Academy Awards including Best Picture.
It was a pleasure to chat with Patrick Decile who played the bully Terrel in the film.
1. Tell our readers a little more about yourself.
I’m 20 years old, I go to Broward College. On the side, I do music, write poetry and I love to perform. I was born and raised in South Florida.
2. How did you get involved with “Moonlight?”
I was in class one day, my teacher [introduced me to a couple of people] and said, these are very important people, don’t embarrass me. There were two of us from my class who were pulled out to audition. A couple weeks later, the professor told me they liked me and wanted to see me at call backs. I went to the call back and some more time went by until finally I found out that I had the part to be the bully in Moonlight.
3. What was the filming process like, being on set for the first time, coming from a non-acting background?
I was always into acting, that’s why I was in the class, but it was very interesting going on set for the first time. The camera was looking like a Transformer, a really big camera. There were a lot of people with all the extras, but the director just got everyone in line and when it was time to shoot the scene, I was just taking it all in to be honest with you.
4. To people who still haven’t seen the movie, what would you say is the takeaway for someone growing up black and gay in South Florida.
That’s kind of like a literal meaning to it when the movie has a lot of underlying messages like growing up without a father or anyone to guide you, being bullied without anyone to really have your back all the way. The mother wanted to have his back, but she got caught up and everything. I think my message to people who watch the film is that it’s a work of art. You have to appreciate it for what it is. It is talking about YOU somewhere in the movie. Just go see it!
5. What have the past few months been like for you?
Been caught up in all of this has been a wild ride, and I am grateful to be a part of it. I have gotten a bunch of weird messages from people all over the world. I am just trying to stay focused. I’m in school and I’m trying to work off this SAG card. I am working on my music and thinking about that.
Catch Patrick at The Neighborhood Star Music Festival in Bass Park (2750 NW 19th Street) in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday March 25.