Trevante Rhodes biography
Date of Birth: February 10, 1990
Trevante Rhodes is an American actor who rose to international fame for his moving and bold portrayal of a black gay man struggling to cope with his identity in the critically acclaimed drama Moonlight (2016).
Trevante was raised just north of Dallas, Texas, where his mother worked as an accountant. A naturally gifted athlete, Trevante attended the University of Texas on a track and field scholarship. Despite quickly emerging as a star athlete, it was at UT Austin where he decided to become an actor instead. One day, while working out on the track, Trevante was spotted by a casting agent — and the rest is Hollywood history.
After graduation, the aspiring actor moved to Los Angeles, where he was almost immediately cast in a small role in the crime thriller Open Windows (2014) starring Elijah Wood. Despite earning more work in the independent crime drama Shangri-La Suite (2015) and the comedy romance The Night is Young (2015), Trevante struggled to find projects that showcased his leading man-quality talent. However, his big break would soon come in the form of the Tyler Perry drama series If Loving You is Wrong. His recurring role as Ramsey Walters on the Oprah Winfrey Network series was just the push the young star needed to take his career to the next level. And the following year, he did just that.
In 2016, Trevante won the starring role in the coming-of-age drama Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins. In it, he plays Chiron, a young black man who attempts to come to terms with being gay while growing up in a dangerous and drug-addled Miami. According to Trevante, he initially auditioned for the role of Kevin, Chiron's childhood friend. "Not even half way through the audition, Barry stops me and he says, 'I want you to read for the other role [of Chiron],'" the actor told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “That was the role I had initially had gravitated toward."
This sudden change in direction was a major blessing for the budding star, who was working as a waiter at a West Hollywood restaurant at the time he was cast. Trevante has since garnered incredible critical acclaim, including Oscar buzz, something for which he feels blessed. "Everything about the film was so incredibly special and I know that’s not something that happens all the time," he told PEOPLE in 2016.
And although it was an emotionally taxing process, Trevante revealed to THR that filming Moonlight changed his life as an actor. "I enjoy learning about other people. I really didn’t understand that until Moonlight . I was fortunate enough to do a few things here and there but I didn’t find acting to be something that I loved until moments in [that film]."
Following Moonlight , Trevante landed even more work in the dramedy Lady Luck (2016), the comedy horror Smartass (2016), the Netflix drama Burning Sands (2017) and the war drama 12 Strong (2018).
Most recently, Trevante appeared in the sci-fi action flick The Predator (2018) alongside Boyd Holbrook and Sterling K. Brown.
A longtime lover of actors and film, Trevante has named Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jake Gyllenhaal as some of the performers he admires the most.