Shining star Quvenzhané Wallis, 8, is currently featured on the June/July cover of Louisiana’s Scene Magazine. She spoke with the magazine about her experience when filming “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and attending the Sundance Film Festival, where the film won the 2012 Grand Jury Prize. Quvenzhané admits that before attending, she had no idea what Sundance was, “I just thought it was gonna have sun, and it was a dance for fans [of movies],” she said. Read bits of the interview now.
Quvenzhané on how she found out about the movie’s audition:
My mom’s friend called and said that they had an audition at the library. I was five, but they were looking for like six- and seven-year-olds. So, she just brought me there just to see if they’d let me do it, and we kept getting callback after callback and I finally got the part.
Her reaction upon finding out that she got the part:
I was just like, “Ok,” then I got back on the computer.
How she practiced her lines:
They had a car, and we would sit in the back. They had this hump, and I would sit there, and then Benh and Mr. Henry, [who plays] Wink, would sit on the sides so I wouldn’t fall. And we would sit and read the lines while Benh would sit there and copy our mouths.
On her character in the movie, Hushpuppy:
Hushpuppy, she’s wild, as you can see in the movie. She is wild, she’s always in the forest. She’s always doing something she’s not supposed to be doing.
On how she relates to her character in the movie:
She’s just like me, except for only one thing: she doesn’t wear pants. We’re alike because we both have animals, we both like nature, we both like exploring the world. And we’re different because she doesn’t wear pants, she has a lot of animals, I don’t have that much nature. And she gets to explore the world anytime she wants to.
How she balanced school while filming the movie:
We had a tutor. Her name is Hannah. Please don’t say Hannah Montana! That’s what we called her Hannah Not-Montana, and we called her Hannah Banana. We had nicknames for her all the time. (Laughs) And she would be my tutor, we would bring some books. We would work on some math, reading, stuff like that. And the other little girls, Kaliana, Amber… they would come too, and they would bring some games. And she brought a game that nobody knew how to play. It’s called Slamwich.
On whether or not she was happy when the filming was over:
No, I really wanted to stay. And whenever they said, “Wrap,” if I didn’t cover my ears, I would just start crying. So I had to cover my ears as hard as I could.
On some of her favorite memories filming Beasts of the Southern Wild:
Being able to see nature and what the world is like. And trying to help the world and be healthy, ‘cause I’m normally not healthy. And reading. I never liked reading. I would just always put the books to the side and just have fun. And then, soon as I went there, they started influencing me to start reading.
In “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Quvenzhané stars as Hushpuppy, a six-year-old girl living with her dying father in a remote rural community surrounded by water. The movie opens in theaters later this month.
Tags: Quvenzhané Wallis