At that moment in time when we feel like the other, we were not the person embraced, not one of the cool kids, not in the club - when you're that person, it makes you feel smaller, and when they persecute you as a result, that's a difficult position to be in.

My parents were in high school when I was born. My mom was 16, my dad was 17. They were kids, at the very beginning of coming into their own and finding themselves.

I remember clearly, when I was about 4, my Aunt Linda said, 'I'm not babysitting him no more. He's bad.' It was one of the first conscious shifts I remember making. I decided, 'I'm going to be good now.'

I converted Dec. 31, 1999. It was a Friday. That was my second time going to the mosque. The woman who is my wife now... was basically raised Muslim - and she was at that point where she was deciding or trying to come to terms with her own relationship with Islam and how to embrace that for herself.

My dream role is Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion.

Marvel has such a huge slice of the pie.

Your life, your circumstances change, and you have to continue to grow as a person, and once you have means and opportunity, you have to make different choices to protect what you have.

Viola Davis is a perfect example of somebody who's so much better than the parts she has the opportunity to play.

The things that people won't totally accept come in all shapes and sizes and forms, and I can relate to that in my own youth.

If you're not careful as an actor, you can find yourself, at a certain point, a little bit bored.

I do think that there are people who are able to connect with and empathize with anyone who is going through something difficult, just naturally. I don't think it's a world of effort for everyone.

I'm so appreciative that people have begun to recognize my work in a way where it can afford me more opportunities.

Oakland, by far, is really gorgeous; it still has these pockets that are really dangerous. Certain things are kind of normal. I think kids out there can be tested in a way where his right of passage ties into a bit of violence and how that has become these markers in masculinity and you being kind of validated after having to pass through things.

What I think I learned from working on 'Moonlight' is you see what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves.

People are really paying attention to the comic-book genre, and there's a lot of time and attention being invested in these projects with a wonderful sense of quality control.

I really enjoyed working with Mariah, Alfre Woodward's character, because she's a wonderful actor, and I felt we had a natural chemistry that was reflective of real family members.

I prayed every day of my life, and that was instilled in me as a kid, and as I've gotten older, that's just matured in me.

I was supremely fortunate to do several projects that I'm really excited about. So within all that, there's a lot going on this year. I'm excited about 2016.

Kids feel like they have to puff up or shrink. These reclusive qualities begin to develop because you feel that who you are is going to either be accepted or rejected by your family and friends.

In terms of pace, I think I just have to revisit my relationship with expectations. That has a little bit to do with comparing ourselves to other people and seeing other people's journey and seeing how they had a certain success at a certain age.

I think Don Cheadle has always done great work.

I watch a lot of home stuff; I like seeing things go from one thing to another and get fixed up.

I got my Equity card right out of NYU grad school in 2000, doing 'The Great White Hope' at Arena Stage. I played Jack Jefferson. It was an amazing part to walk into, to carry that responsibility for that amount of time. The challenges and the breadth of that role were pretty amazing.

I thought, 'I've been doing this for 16 years professionally. I have a window where I want to play leading parts.'

As an actor, as you grow into where you fit in the industry, you're just trying to find the opportunities, hoping they grow and you get to do more.

There was a sadness over me, a melancholy. That's always been a part of me - those are some of the things that lead you to the arts.

Cultures and races are mixing in a very organic way in the world, and that should be reflected in film and television.

I've never seen anyone - and I've had the opportunity to work with some really terrific actors in my time - but Philip Seymour Hoffman is definitely the best I ever had the opportunity to work with.

I found myself sort of becoming a character actor, though I don't know if that would be my natural makeup.

I think selfishly, as an actor, we always want to do more.

A lot of actors know they want to be actors a little bit earlier on. I didn't even really start studying until I was about 22.

It's a lot of wonderful things about the Bay area and Oakland that I absolutely love. I wouldn't change being from there by any stretch.

When I was growing up, in the '80s and '90s, I just never really saw myself reflected in the things that I had a liking for. It makes a difference.

When you have these surprise breakout films that do well, that have good performances in them, it puts a lot of pressure on the Academy to recognize those projects, so it's more of a conversation about what is greenlit.

There are not enough going into production so that we can tout them. Look at 'Precious'... In order for them to stand out, they have to get made in the first place, and that's just not happening enough.

We live in diverse communities with all sorts of people from all sorts of different backgrounds. The more our entertainment can be a reflection of the world we live in, the better it is for all of us.

Before I got into grad school, I used to work as a deck hand on these ferry boats in San Francisco, and they did day tours. It wasn't a bad job. I made decent money. But you were sitting down all day, tying up the boat, wiping it down. For some guys, that's a dream job, but for me it was kind of torture.

At graduate school in 1999, I finally had the chance to examine why I believe what I believe. I realised that I'd had no period in my life where I'd consciously tried to develop my own theology.

My mom and stepdad were strict. I couldn't date; I couldn't go out. And I was a kid who was never good at just taking no for an answer. I needed to understand why. And sometimes they weren't interested in explaining.

My manager called me and said, 'Hey, there's a series at Neflix.' I'm like, 'Netflix? Oh, boy.' At that time, it was just a strange thing to hear. It's like going, 'There's a series at Blockbuster.'

To get to play someone who was in some capacity the King of Harlem, that meant something to me. Deep within my bones. I was inspired by the energy that I knew to be a real thing.

For my characters, it's important to get really specific about what they listen to. Because it affects how they move in the world.

'Moonlight' is a project that resonated with me more than anything else. I wouldn't have done 'Luke Cage' if they hadn't made time for 'Moonlight.'

I think #OscarsSoWhite is about there not truly being enough people of color represented.

People will burn through a show in two or three days, and then you're left feeling empty for 51 weeks.

I don't really compare any of the characters I play; I try to go into them being very open to what the characters can offer and what I can bring to them and then bring a being to life.

I do believe that there are creative chakras or different sorts of energy centers.

I think that black people, to a degree, need to have a certain level of dexterity. If we want to be at the highest level of whatever our field is, we have to be able to navigate both worlds. We all just know that you gotta be able to put that suit on and have a conversation with people that don't look like you or your family.

As a kid, my dad would take me to see indie films when I would visit him in New York. Films that I just wouldn't see growing up in the Bay Area.