One of the first things you might notice when meeting Beasts of the Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar are her arms.
One of the first things you might notice when meeting Beasts of the Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar are her arms. They're visibly strong, sculpted to a sinewy, solid perfection by the yoga she practices so frequently. Much like her Beasts main character, Hushpuppy, the petite screenwriter — and her biceps — proves that forces to be reckoned with often come in small packages. Lucy's imaginative coming-of-age story has become one of the year's most beloved little movies that could. It's already racked up no less than six dozen awards and nominations, including four Oscar nods this morning. The film's young star, Quvenzhané Wallis, made history today by being the youngest best actress Oscar nominee ever. (Now 9 years old, she was just 5 when she auditioned for the role.) The movie is also up for best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay.
Based on Lucy's play Juicy and Delicious, Beasts was her attempt to detangle her own complicated relationship with her father in the midst of his serious illness. The writing of it would transform Lucy's life in more ways than one. She was living in NYC in 2009, too broke to even afford cell phone service, when she found out that the Sundance Institute's Screenwriting Lab had decided to put Beasts — which she cowrote with childhood friend Benh Zeitlin, who would go on to direct the film — into development. Earlier this week, as we sat in her publicity firm's offices in LA's gleaming Pacific Design Center, Lucy reminisced about what she would have been doing on this same date, three years ago. "Let's see. It's almost Christmas . . . selling t-shirts for Silence of the Lambs, the musical."
Odd jobs aside, Lucy seems to have never considered trading in her dream of a life committed to writing. "Oh, no. It's always been such a pleasurable thing for me to do. That would be like giving up sleeping or something like that. Or giving up yoga."
For our Q&A with Lucy, just read more.