What I learned from Nat I reveal with hesitation, since you really ought to go hear it from him in person, but here goes: I learned that the actor chosen to play the key role of the father, Wink, had auditioned for it on a whim — he was working at the bakery across the street from where the auditions were taking place, and thought, why not? I’ll give it a try.
Give it a try, and succeed, he did. Not only did he land the part, but Dwight Henry’s performance as Wink, the ailing, single father who raises his young daughter, Hushpuppy, to be tough as nails, came through with apparent effortlessness.
I knew it took some effort, though, because in introducing the film, Nat also told us that the producers of “Beasts” sent an acting coach to work with Henry many late nights after his midnight shifts at the bakery were through.
And that’s the kind of insight you can only get at the Manlius Art Cinema.
For showtimes, visit manliusartcinema.com.
For more on “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” read Jim Wigge’s review of the film here.