It is often said that it is quality, and not quantity, that really counts and this certainly proves true in the life of American actor, Trevante Rhodes. Even though he has only featured in a couple of movies, he is already a household name in Hollywood. This is thanks to his turn as a queer black man in the highly-acclaimed 2016 movie, Moonlight.
Moonlight has not only helped to shape serious conversations but has been hailed as one of the greatest films of the 21st century. Such a feat has done wonders for Rhodes’ career and has propelled him to the spotlight, but it has also come with an additional headache as it has created the impression that he is gay. This is however not so. Even though the actor is a big fan of gay rights and has spoken out about his own experiences with people in the LGBT community, he is straight and is set to get married to the love of his life in the not too distant future.
Trevante Rhodes’ Role as the Adult Chiron in the Oscar-winning Moonlight Movie
Many actors and actresses toil for years before getting their breakthrough in Hollywood but this was not the case with Trevante Rhodes. The Louisiana native commenced his Hollywood career in 2014, appearing in a short film titled Open Windows. He later went on to land parts in several short films and TV series, including The Night is Young, Lady Luck, Shangri-La Suite, Gang Related, If Loving You is Wrong and West World, before finally getting his breakthrough just two years into his career in Moonlight.
Moonlight is a 2016 coming-of-age drama directed by Barry Jenkins. The movie revolves around a gay black young man named Chiron who deals with emotional and physical abuse as well as his sexuality. Moonlight featured stars such as Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, and Ashton Sanders (as the young Chiron) while Rhodes played the adult version of Chiron. His portrayal of the lost young man seeking to find himself earned him several accolades, including outstanding breakthrough performance (male) at the 2017 Black Reel Awards.
Rhodes was also additionally nominated for other gongs such as best supporting actor and most promising performer at the 2016 Chicago Film Critics Association Award; best breakthrough at the Detroit Film Critics Society Awards; best supporting-actor and breakthrough artist award at the Austin Film Critics Association; and outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards.
The film itself received numerous awards, including the 2017 Golden Globe and Academy Awards for best picture. Critically, it received positive reviews and was the highest-scoring film of 2016 on both Metacritic (99/100) and Rotten Tomatoes (98%). Commercially, it made more than 50 times its budget as it grossed $65.3 million on a budget of $1.5 million.
His Appearance in Bird Box Proved He was Doing Something Right
Since the overwhelming success of Moonlight, Trevante Rhodes has not relented but has continued to soar high in his career. His appearance in Bird Box is proof of this.
Bird Box is a 2018 drama/thriller based on a Josh Malerman novel of the same name. The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious force compels people, who look it in the face, to commit suicide. Amidst a few survivors, a single mother named Malorie Hayes is forced to do all she can so as to protect her two children from the malevolent forces. Bird Box featured Sandra Bullock in the lead role of Malorie Hayes while Rhodes played the supporting role of Tom, one of the survivors who ultimately gives his life in order to save Malorie and her kids.
The movie received mixed-to-negative reviews and spurned an ill-advised bird box challenge on social media. It, however, still managed to emerge as the biggest movie to ever be streamed on Netflix with about 89 million households watching it in its first month of release. Studies have also found that it could have grossed about $98 million if it had been released theatrically. This means that it would have quadrupled its budget of $19.8 million.
Trevante Rhodes Further Became a Household Name with His Role in Predator
Another project that has made Trevante Rhodes a household name is the 2018 sci-fi film, The Predator. In it, he plays the role of Nebraska Williams, a former naval officer who is granted freedom from captivity for the purpose of helping to hunt down extraterrestrial species that are hunting the earth.
The film was the third in The Predator series and was the best performing, commercial wise, as it grossed $160.5 on a budget of $88 million. Even though they were some knocks by the critics, including controversies over its depiction of autism, some still praised Rhodes and his castmates as being incredibly charismatic.
Rhodes Has Faced Questions over His Sexuality Following His Role in Moonlight
Given that his most famous role to date is as a gay character, many have speculated that Trevante Rhodes may be gay. The actor himself isn’t too bothered about these rumors as he is a big supporter of LGBT rights. According to him, even though many people have queried him as to how he felt pretending to love another man, he had no hesitations whatsoever about playing Chiron because there is no difference between loving a man and loving a woman.
As Rhodes sees it, he could have easily been born loving men as opposed to women. He, therefore, believes that if we strip away the barriers of race, gender, and sexual orientation, we are all connected and are just little blobs who are seeking love. Rhodes’s convictions are further strengthened by what he has witnessed first-hand. One of his close friends is gay and he encountered a lot of problems when he came out to his family. Seeing this up close made Rhodes a big believer in love rather than anything else.
The Moonlight Star is Engaged to Model and Martial Artist Mara Wright
Trevante Rhodes is engaged to his girlfriend, Mara Wright. Wright is a professional model as well as a trained martial artist, boasting of skills in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Jiu-Jitsu. She has also appeared in a couple of movies and is based in Los Angeles. Wright is of German and African-American ancestry; she has a white dad and a black mom.
The exact timeline of Rhodes and Wright’s relationship has not been revealed but it is known that they got engaged on the 6th of August 2019. The couple did not announce it officially but a family member shared it on Mara’s Instagram story. In the slide, a diamond ring can be spotted on the model’s finger as she hugs her man. Rhodes can also be seen seating at a table with Wright’s family as they sing a song in German and toast the happy couple. The couple is yet to announce any wedding date but we do hope that it will be in the nearest future.