‘Native Son’ Star Ashton Sanders Was the Most Unpredictable Actor of Matthew Libatique’s Career

Matthew Libatique’s camera has captured kinetic performances ranging from Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” to Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born.” He’s even followed the unpredictable movements of Kobe Bryant and Mike Tyson.

However, he said he’s never encountered a performer quite as unique and raw as Ashton Sanders, the star of HBO’s “Native Son.”“He moves unlike anybody else I’ve ever put a lens to,” said the Oscar-nominated cinematographer.

“I would nonchalantly take photographs of him and I would just look at them and say, ‘Nothing’s a right angle, nothing’s straight.’ In the best possible way, he’s just un-level.”And it’s true: You can’t keep your eyes off Sanders as Bigger Thomas.

The lanky “Moonlight” actor’s mesmerizing movements capture both the vulnerability and masculine energy of his afro-punk character in director Rashid Johnson’s modern adaptation of Richard Wright’s 1939 novel.

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