Quvenzhané Wallis

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Quvenzhané Wallis
Born (2003-08-28) August 28, 2003 (age 11)[1][2]
Houma, Louisiana, United States
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2012–present
Parents Qulyndreia Wallis
Venjie Wallis, Sr.

Quvenzhané Wallis (/kwə.ˈvɛn.ʒə.n/; kwuh-VEN-zhuh-nay;[3] 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),[4] for which she became the youngest actress ever to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Wallis was born in Houma, Louisiana, the youngest of the four children of Qulyndreia, a teacher, and Venjie Wallis, Sr., a truck driver.[1][7][8] "Quven", the first part of her name, combines the first syllables of her parents' first names, and "zhané" is Swahili for "fairy".

Career[edit]

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.[9] 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.[8] 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.[10] However, she was just six during the filming.[11] 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.

In February 2013, Wallis was cast as the title character in a new film version of Annie.[12]

In May 2014, Wallis was named the face of Armani Junior, Giorgio Armani's line for children and teens. [13] This makes her the first major child celebrity to be the face of a luxury brand. [14]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Beasts of the Southern Wild Hushpuppy
2013 Boneshaker Blessing Short film
2013 12 Years a Slave Margaret Northup
2014 Annie Annie Post-production
2015 Fathers and Daughters Filming

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2013 Academy Award for Best Actress[5][6] Beasts of the Southern Wild Nominated
African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Won
Austin Film Critics Association for Breakthrough Artist Award Won
Black Reel Award for Best Actress Won
Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Performer Won
Capri Hollywood Festival Award for Best Actress Won
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society for Best Actress Nominated
Disney Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Breakout Performance Won
Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance Nominated
Hollywood Film Festival New Hollywood Award Won
Houston Film Critics Society for Best Actress Nominated
Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Actress Won
New York Film Critics Online Award for Breakthrough Performance Won
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Youth Performance in a Lead or Supporting Role – Female Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Breakthrough Performance Won
Santa Barbara International Film Festival — Virtuoso Award Won
Satellite Award for Best Breakthrough Actress Won
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Utah Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Won
Women Film Critics for Best Youth Performance Won
Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress[15] Won

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Beasts of the Southern Wild press kit". 
  2. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1274). Aug 30, 2013. p. 20. 
  3. ^ "How to Pronounce Quvenzhané Wallis". inogolo. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b Blakely, Rhys (January 10, 2013). "Youngest v oldest actress vie for Oscar as Lincoln leads the pack". The Times. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  6. ^ a b 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. 
  7. ^ McKnight, Laura (May 13, 2010). "Houma girl to star in independent film". The Daily Comet. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  8. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (June 22, 2012). "Quvenzhané. A small force of nature". Roger Ebert's Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  9. ^ Truitt, Brian (June 26, 2012). "Quvenzhane Wallis makes 'Southern Wild' sing". USA Today. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin (January 10, 2013). "Oscar nominations: Quvenzhane Wallis is young but not youngest ever". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Alexander, Bryan (January 10, 2013). "History-making Quvenzhane Wallis: 'This is special'". USA Today. 
  12. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (February 24, 2013). "Beasts of the Southern Wild' breakout Quvenzhané Wallis to star in new big-screen 'Annie'". EW.com. 
  13. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/quvenzhane-wallis-named-face-armani-706440
  14. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/quvenzhane-wallis-named-face-armani-706440
  15. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

External links[edit]