The New York Times recently sent journalist Melena Ryzik to visit Dwight Henry at his now famous bakery, The Buttermilk Drop, down in New Orleans. Mr. Henry reveals that while he was hesitant to take the role (in fact, he turned it down twice), it was the Beast team's adamant belief in his talent that convinced him to take the part.
"They felt I was the perfect person for this part. But I could not take it, as much as I wanted to, as much as I wanted to take the part, to move for two and a half months like they needed me to do, to sacrifice a business I was working so hard to pass on to my kids for a possible movie career that..I don't know where it's gonna take me. But I know where my bakery's gonna take me. After turning them down twice, they had me believing I was the only person in the world that could play this part, and I thought back to the time when I was first trying to open up my business, when nobody believed in me. I got turned down by every finance company, every bank, every friend, every family member and for these guys to come from New York, don't know nothing about me, to put their whole budget, their whole film into me and a young six year old girl's hands that had never acted. That meant a lot to me."
Though the film's success has opened plenty of Hollywood doors, Mr. Henry's first and last love is still his bakery. He tells Ryzik that even when in Los Angeles to receive an award or make a publicity appearance, he feels the Buttermilk Drop calling and makes it his first stop off the plane. He says, "This place..I worked hard for it. I'm magnetized to it."
Lucky for us, Mr. Henry will soon get to call New York his second home when his famous buttermilk drops debut in Harlem in Spring 2013.
Check out the full interview here.