'Beasts of the Southern Wild' stars' own magical realism - Los Angeles Times

To find those performers, the "Beasts" casting department followed the canvassing model employed by President Obama (several members of the team even worked on his 2008 election). But even as they spread their net far and wide, the casting agents and producers struggled to land leading players. After looking at some 4,000 children for the role of Hushpuppy, the team encountered Quvenzhané in a meeting room in the main branch of the Terrebonne Parish Library in Houma, a little more than an hour southwest of New Orleans. The audition notice called for girls ages 6 to 9, but Quvenzhané was only 5 at the time. Quvenzhané, who had been a part of a Christmas musical at her elementary school but had little other performing experience, showed up anyway.  

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