Zimbio Exclusive Interview - Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, & Benh Zeitlin, 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'
From Left: Dwight Henry, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Benh Zeitlin (Photos by: Getty Images).Young director Benh Zeitlin took the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals by storm this year with his first feature, Beasts of the Southern Wild. The Queens, NY native has spent a lot of time in post-Katrina, post-BP oil spill Louisiana and has not only adopted the battered southern state, he's made it his muse.
To lead his film, Zeitlin chose two non-actors to play the lead roles. Quvenzhane Wallis was plucked out of rural Louisiana onto a film set and managed to give one of the great performances by a young actor in modern film history. She is a revelation as the film's young hero, Hushpuppy. Likewise, Dwight Henry was found in the bakery he runs in the town where casting calls were being held. His performance is ferocious and ultimately touching.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is a magnetic journey through a world unbeknownst to many of us. Set in a small marsh town called the "Bathub," the film follows the life of a 6-year-old girl (Wallis, who is 8 now) and her incredible view of life, love, and the world she belongs to. Henry plays her father, Wink, an alcoholic and unconventional man who struggles to teach his daughter what it takes to survive. We were very excited to sit down with the young writer/director and his two stars to discuss Beasts of the Southern Wild, their favorite films, and Zeitlin's thoughts on the Academy Awards this year.
Benh Zeitlin interview:
Quvenzhane Wallis & Dwight Henry interview:
See more photos of Benh Zeitlin, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Dwight Henry: