August 28, 2003 |
Houma, Louisiana, United States
Venjie Wallis, Sr.
Quvenzhané Wallis (//; kwuh-VEN-zhuh-nay; born August 28, 2003) is an African-American child actress and singer. She is known for her leading role as Hushpuppy in the critically acclaimed drama film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), for which she became the youngest actress ever to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Wallis was born in Houma, Louisiana, the youngest of the four children of Qulyndreia, a teacher, and Venjie Wallis, Sr., a truck driver. "Quven", the first part of her name, combines the first syllables of her parents' first names, and "zhané" is Swahili for "fairy".
Wallis, at age five, had to lie about her age to audition for her very first acting job—the starring role in Beasts of the Southern Wild—because the minimum age to be considered was six. She eventually beat out some 4,000 contenders for the role of Hushpuppy—the indomitable child prodigy and survivalist who lives with her dying father in the backwoods bayou squalor of Louisiana. Director Benh Zeitlin told The Daily Beast that when he auditioned Wallis, he immediately realized he had discovered what he was looking for, and changed the Beasts script to accommodate her strong-willed personality. Her reading ability, loud scream, and the skill of burping on command impressed the director and won her the part. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2012 to rave reviews, winning the Grand Jury Prize. In May 2012, Wallis flew to France for the premiere of the film at the Cannes Film Festival. The film received much acclaim and praise for Wallis' outstanding performance and it went on to win the prestigious Caméra d'Or award for Best first Feature Film. On January 10, 2013, at age nine, Wallis became the Academy Awards' youngest nominee for Best Actress and third youngest in all categories. However, she was just six during the filming. Wallis is the first African-American child actor to earn an Oscar nomination. She is also the first person born in the 21st century to receive an Academy Award nomination.
She had a role in Steve McQueen's Academy Award–winning film 12 Years a Slave (2013), alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt. Also in 2013, she collaborated with Sundance for the second time on a short film called Boneshaker.
|2012||Beasts of the Southern Wild||Hushpuppy|
|2013||12 Years a Slave||Margaret Northup|
|2015||Fathers and Daughters||Filming|
Awards and nominations
- List of accolades received by Beasts of the Southern Wild
- List of oldest and youngest Academy Award winners and nominees
- "Beasts of the Southern Wild press kit".
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1274). Aug 30, 2013. p. 20.
- "How to Pronounce Quvenzhané Wallis". inogolo. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- Nicholson, Amy (June 29, 2012). "Quvenzhané Conquers Hollywood: 20 Questions for the 8-year-old star of Beasts of the Southern Wild". Boxoffice.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Blakely, Rhys (January 10, 2013). "Youngest v oldest actress vie for Oscar as Lincoln leads the pack". The Times. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- Walker, Tim (January 10, 2013). "Quvenzhané Wallis v Emmanuelle Riva: Best actress Oscar contested by oldest and youngest ever nominees". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- McKnight, Laura (May 13, 2010). "Houma girl to star in independent film". The Daily Comet. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Ebert, Roger (June 22, 2012). "Quvenzhané. A small force of nature". Roger Ebert's Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Truitt, Brian (June 26, 2012). "Quvenzhane Wallis makes 'Southern Wild' sing". USA Today. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Day, Patrick Kevin (January 10, 2013). "Oscar nominations: Quvenzhane Wallis is young but not youngest ever". Los Angeles Times.
- Alexander, Bryan (January 10, 2013). "History-making Quvenzhane Wallis: 'This is special'". USA Today.
- Rottenberg, Josh (February 24, 2013). "Beasts of the Southern Wild' breakout Quvenzhané Wallis to star in new big-screen 'Annie'". EW.com.
- "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2013-03-31.