WI Assistant Editor | , Shantella Y. Sherman | 8/16/2012, 3:46 p.m.
As priceless a character as William "Compo" Simonite in tattered clothes and Wellies no less - Hushpuppy, played by Quvenzhane Wallis, is the thriving imagination and freedom lost by children in urban and tech savvy spaces.
Wallis nailed the part of the free-spirited Hushpuppy from the audition, but finding an actor to portray her dad that she gelled with, was not so easy a task.
According to Henry, Wallis, 8, rejected two other actors that were supposed to play her father. She didn't feel comfortable with them.
"She's the star and ultimately the decision on who would play her father was left up to her. I had to figure out a way to win her heart over. Since I own a bakery I decided to box up a whole bunch of cookies and brownies and things. As soon as I saw her, I handed over the pastries and smiled. She smiled back and I knew I had her," Henry said.
As for Wallis, having braved months of mosquito bites, playing with a pig (which she didn't like very much) and delivering the performance of a lifetime, she hopes moviegoers understand the overarching themes of love and community.
"I wanted to teach a lesson about how you should take care of who is in your family. You do what you have to do to take care of them. I wanted people to see that a parent is supposed to be with their child every moment, and care about what they are thinking... ask about their feelings.