By now, many of you are familiar with the story of how Dwight Henry was cast as Wink in Beasts of the Southern Wild. A baker by profession, Mr. Henry, owned a dessert cafe, The Buttermilk Drop, across the street from the Court 13 production office where Beasts producers would often meet for coffee. After months went by searching for the perfect Wink (which included hundreds of auditions with local and professional actors), producer Michael Gottwald realized that the man they were hoping to discover may have been someone a little closer to home. He convinced Mr. Henry to come in and read for the role of Wink and the rest, as they say, is casting history.
Since then, Mr. Henry has already completed another film with director Steve McQueen, starring Brad Pitt. He was honored by the Los Angeles Film Critics as the Best Supporting Actor of 2012 and continues to be recognized by audiences around the world as a true star and artist. Despite all the Hollywood hoopla, Mr. Henry’s most beloved stage is still in the kitchen.
The cast and crew traveled across country for the Beasts Sundance premiere, bringing along over 1000 of Mr. Henry’s famed Buttermilk Drops to pass out to festival goers. Word of his delectable delights eventually landed in the ear of restaurateur Richie Notar of Nobu, who had just recently purchased a space in Harlem, New York City and was looking for his next culinary endeavor.
New York Magazine’s Grubstreet recounts:
After buying the Lenox, Notar was brainstorming uses for an adjacent space when he happened to talk to a film-industry friend. The friend had recently returned from Sundance Film Festival where he’d tasted one of the 1,200 buttermilk drops Henry handed out during the Beasts Park City premiere, and encouraged Notar to investigate. (Henry landed his role in Beasts after Buttermilk Drop partial producers encouraged him to audition.) “I fell in love with the story,” Notar says. “Here’s a guy that’s a nonactor that takes his product that he’s proud of and went over to Sundance with it and gave it away. I liked that about him, that’s my entrepreneurial gene as well. And then when I sent Mike down there, he said, ‘Yeah, it’s the real deal. It’s good, and it’s perfect fit for what we are doing.’”
This spring, Dwight Henry and Richie Notar will bring a little New Orleans love to New York City “in the form of buttermilk drops, king cakes, and beignets, plus savory staples like Henry’s gumbo.”
We wish Mr. Henry the best on his newest endeavor! Our taste buds can’t wait for springtime!
Source: Grub Street