“Beasts of the Southern Wild” was an early winner of the 2013 Oscars when the nominations were announced Thursday morning. Among the film's four nominations, Quvenzhané Wallis was nominated for Best Actress -- at just nine years old.
When waking up on Thursday, most nine-year-olds were probably worried about school or other such matters. That was not the case for Wallis, the star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” When the Oscar nominations revealed that Wallis was the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Actress, she was elated but calm despite the accolades.
The 2013 Oscar nominations were revealed on Thursday and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” earned three other nominations, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Wallis is facing some rather stiff competition for Best Actress but she is not letting all the extra attention change her down-to-earth personality.
Wallis will be up against some of the best leading ladies of Hollywood. Also vying for the Best Actress Oscar are Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”). While most people would have been screaming or jumping for joy over the Oscar news, Wallis is handling it with all the poise and grace that she displayed on “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
Wallis spoke to The Associated Press about her Oscar nomination. She said her mother broke the news to her and, “I was like, 'Oh my God!' But it was on the inside. It wasn't on the outside.”
Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” director, has plenty to celebrate as well, having three nominations to his name, including Best Director, and praises Wallis for her calm reaction to the news. Zeitlin says, “It's magical. She's just poised and fearless. I saw that the first day I ever met her when she was five. To this day, she just knows who she is, and she's confident.”
Wallis auditioned for the role of Hushpuppy at the age of five and while her performance transcends her young age, she is still very much a child at heart. According to AP, Wallis has never watched the Oscars, or even known what they were, and is most excited about meeting actors and actresses from the Disney Channel. She also never heard of her fellow Oscar nominees except for Riva, the oldest of them, whom she had met the day before.
The 2013 Oscars will be awarded Feb. 24. Young Quvenzhané Wallis and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” already have a lot of fans, and as the Oscars draw near, expect them to win even more hearts.