Mahershala Ali is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood right now. After struggling in Hollywood for about two decades, the actor won an Oscar in 2017 for Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight, and recently starred in the critical hit Green Book and the new season of True Detective.
He sat down with Rolling Stone for our ‘First Time’ series, opening up about the first albums he bought, the first time he watched Moonlight, winning an Oscar, why he feels like a fraud on his first days on the sets of movies sets. “First days for me are always really nervewracking and then eventually you get through the day and the second day is usually better,” he said. The actor is also a poet, having performed in poetry slams in college, and he details the first poem he ever wrote.
Rolling Stone also recently spent time with Ali at home in L.A. as he adjusted to life as a leading man. “I’m just trying to find a balance, man,” he said. “Trying to be responsible with my choices, do meaningful work. Handling the influx of work opportunities, and how demanding that is to do well.”
True Detective kicked off its third season this week, airing Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.