“Beasts of the Southern Wild” was one of the big surprises as the Oscar nominations were announced last week.
A lot of people hadn’t heard of the independent film about a young girl in the Louisiana Bayou fighting to survive a cataclysmic storm.
But it’s up for four awards including Best Picture and Best Actress for nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest Best Actress nominee ever.
Back in July, Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr, who’d seen the film at the Sundance Film festival told Here & Now’s Robin Young that it was one of the best films he’d ever seen there.
“It has a fresh energy, a fresh way of looking at how to tell a story on film, a bunch of characters I’ve never seen and it merges realism with magical realism in ways that movies rarely do,” Burr said.
Here & Now’s Emiko Tamagawa spoke with the stars of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” including Wallis, who said of her role, “it wasn’t all me, but some of it, it was. Like she doesn’t wear pants, I do. She gets to go out and explore, I don’t get to go out that much and explore. She gets to complete all her missions or things she wanted to do and I don’t.”
However, she adds, “I’m tough, she tough… we’re fearless, she’s fearless.”
Both Wallis and Dwight Henry, who plays Hushpuppy’s father Wink, are first-time actors.
Henry runs The Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Cafe in New Orleans, which happens to be across the street from where auditions for the film were being held.
“I’m going back to the bakery because that’s something I’ve been building for the past 13 years to pass onto my kids,” Henry said. “I can’t pass an acting career onto my kids.”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” is returning to some theaters. Check for showtimes near you.
Jeremy Hobson joins Robin Young as co-host of Here & Now in its new 2-hour format, from WBUR and NPR.
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