“Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Quvenzhane Wallis talks burps, screams and crawfish


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Quvenzhane Wallis is a tiny force to be reckoned with. In “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the nine-year-old manages to transform life-changing events into a mythological story that, to her, could affect the entire world. As director Benh Zeitlin told IFC, much of her character, Hushpuppy, is actually derivative of Wallis as a person. But when it’s up to Wallis to explain the comparisons between herself and her character, she said that what you see is what you get.

“She’s brave and fearless,” the first-time actress told IFC at a recent press day for the movie. “She was active all the time. Since it’s a movie, yes [there are similarities]. Not really but there are. She doesn’t wear pants and her father is dying, and she gets to complete whatever she wants to do. She can do anything she wants. She doesn’t have to ask for anything, so it’s something that she does and she gets to do it by herself.”

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” premiered first at Sundance, then at the Cannes Film Festival and most recently at the Los Angeles Film Festival (where it won the Audience Award). Wallis, Zeitlin and Dwight Henry, who plays Hushpuppy’s father Wink in the movie, have traveled all over the country promoting this film. We spoke to Wallis towards the end of the press day, and it was clear that she was exhausted. As someone who is not trained for press, she let her disinterest with answering the same questions all day be known.

“Burp, scream and crawfish,” she ticked off on her fingers in answer to what her favorite parts of the movie were. When we asked whether that was a question she’s heard a lot, she further ticked, “Yes I have been asked.”

That being said, the experience was positive enough that Wallis said she wants to continue with acting. She’s already seen more of the world than many people have in their lifetime, though Sea World was one of her favorite parts of that along with going to Cannes and Sundance. And the filming experience in itself seems like it was a great time, with much of the movie being an on-set party.

“It was fun because we all got to have different people to play with,” Wallis said of the filming experience. “It was different because, whenever you go home, it’s just different and all you do is just seeing your friends and riding your bike. And then you go to the Bath Tub and all you hear is parades and drinking.”

As she previously mentioned, her favorite parts of the movie were her frequent burps, ear-piercing screams and the regular meals of crawfish. Wallis said she had told Zeitlin before they started the movie that she was especially talented in the burping and screaming departments, and that’s why those qualities were added to her character.

When asked what her favorite scene to film was, she answered, “When I burped. Just kidding [laughs]. When I had the crawfish, that was my favorite out of all of those things.”

She added that she liked filming the parade scene with the sparklers that many can see in the trailer for the film.

“It was fun because you never expect to do all those scenes and crazy scenes like that,” she said. “Whenever we were on the parade and we were shaking and screaming and water falling and people, we had to redo it and redo it, we had to go back and forth with the truck of the parade, so it was very funny.”

When IFC talked to Zeitlin about the film, he gushed about Wallis’s abilities. “The very first time I saw her, she was like fierce and defiant and wise beyond her years. She was five years old when she came in and she had this focus that we hadn’t seen from kids twice her age. She’s some sort of supernatural creature that came to us,” he said.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” hits select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles today.

Were you surprised by Wallis’s powerful performance? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.