Dwight Henry, the star alongside Quvenzhané Wallis (playing her father) in this year’s critically accaimed Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts Of The Southern Wild, is the latest addition to the grand, star-studded cast of Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years A Slave.
Henry joins the still increasing ensemble which includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Scoot McNairy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Garret Dillahunt, Ruth Negga, Taran Killam, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael K. Williams and Chris Chalk.
According to the Washington Post, Henry, owner and operator of Buttermilk Drop Baker in New Orleans, had turned down Behn Zeitlin’s offer to star in Beasts three times prior to finally accepting.
Director Zeitlin told the post, “We went there every morning for grits and doughnuts, and we got to know him. He talked about his life, things he had been through, and parts of his life got written into the film. At some point, we realized he was the one we wanted for this film.”
Unsurprisingly, Henry is more than glad to have accepted, given the positive reception of Beasts at Sundance and Cannes earlier this year.
Henry told the post, “I’m glad I did it, but at the time, I was reluctant to do it, to sacrifice my business that I had worked so hard to open for a chance at a possible movie career.”
And, the timing is just right, as production in McQueen’s 12 Years begins this week in Henry’s New Orleans hometown.