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Young stars of 'Moonlight' return to school in Miami Gardens

Jaden Piner, Alex Hibbert both plan to act in future

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Two of the young stars from the hit film "Moonlight" headed back to school Wednesday in Miami Gardens after a star-studded weekend at the Oscars.

Jaden Piner and Alex Hibbert have gotten used to the red-carpet treatment. The seventh-graders who attend Norland Middle School just got back from Los Angeles, where their movie won Best Picture.

"We thought it was going to be a little play or short film or something, and just to see it go and be something as big as this, it's just amazing," Alex said.

While at the Academy Awards, the two young stars mixed it up with some major names in showbiz. Both said meeting Andrew Garfield was the highlight of their experience.

They also said they were disappointed when the now-infamous mix-up happened and "La La Land" was mistakenly announced for the biggest award of the night. They said they almost didn't believe it when the mistake was corrected.

"When they first was all like, '"Moonlight" got it,' we were like, 'Nice joke,' but they were like, 'Seriously, you guys got it,'" Alex said.

"When they showed the card and said, 'We're serious,' me and Ashton jumped, yelling, everything," Jaden added.

The boys' real-life teacher, Tanisha Cidel, was also in the movie and said everyone in the film became like one big family. The boys said they're proud to have the opportunity to represent Miami.

"You can't judge it by the news or whatever is going on in that area," Alex said. "There's a lot of talent, a lot of beauty in Liberty City -- you just have to find that."

Both of the boys plan to act in the future and Alex has already signed on to do a TV show in Chicago that will air on Showtime.


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