Who is the Oscar-nominated Actress, Quvenzhane Wallis?

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It’s a name that’s not easy to say, but a name to know.  We’re talking about Quvenzhane Wallis–the 9-year old star of the Oscar-nominated film,  Beasts of the Southern Wild.  This 4th grader is truly making a name for herself.

“It just came to me and it was something that I didn’t even expect.  Something that wouldn’t happen to someone this kind of age,” Wallis said.

Young Quvenzhane is right.  It’s not something that typically happens to a kid her age.  In Oscar history, she is the youngest ever to be nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.

“It’s something, you get excited about,” she said.

In Fox Searchlight Picture’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis plays “Hushpuppy”–a tough girl who along with her father played by Dwight Henry must face life in a fictional Louisiana community known as “The Bathtub”.

The film was shot entirely in Terrebone Parish, where Wallis is from.  She lives in Houma.

“My favorite scene is when we were eating seafood and crawfish.  That’s something we know about.  It’s just a movie that anyone can see.  It will change your emotions,”  she said.

Quvenzhane landed the role out of 4-thousand hopefuls.  She even had to lie about her age to audition.  The part called for a 6-year old.  She was only 5-years old at the time.

“She had this focus, this moral intensity, this poise, and she was very, very, defiant,”  Benh Zeitlin, the movie’s Director said.

This young starlet is proving she can flex her acting muscles with the best of them.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is also nominated for 3 other Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Tune into this year’s Academy Awards on ABC- WGNO-TV on Sunday night.

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