Youngest ever Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, aged 9, acts up at Academy Awards luncheon as she revels in the spotlight

 

She is the youngest person in history to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, and at just nine years old Quvenzhané Wallis knows how to liven up an Academy event.

The young star larked about and was the centre of attention at the 85th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton on Monday.

Looking impeccable in a lilac party dress, and with one of her trademark puppy purses, the Beasts of the Southern Wild star couldn’t fail to cause a stir as she joked around.

Quvenzhané Wallis

Uninhibited by the A-listers sharing the room, she fooled around and made everyone smile.

At the age of five, Quvenzhané lied about her age to audition for her very first acting job, the starring role in Beasts of the Southern Wild – the minimum age for consideration was six.

She won the part, beating 4,000 contenders for the role of Hushpuppy.

Director Benh Zeitlin said that when he auditioned Quvenzhané, he immediately realised he’d discovered what he was looking for, and changed the script to accommodate her large personality.

The child star flew to France for the premiere of Beasts of the Southern Wild at the Cannes Film Festival in May last year, where it won the prestigious Caméra d’Or award for Best first Feature Film.

Last week the starlet appeared on the Jay Leno show, and won over audiences as she chatted confidently about whom she hopes to meet at the Oscars.

‘Well, it’s going to be a long list,’ she declared, before naming Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce on her wish list.

When Jay asked who she’d be taking as a date to the Oscars, Quvenzhané, proudly lifted up her puppy purse saying, ‘This and my mom.’

Quvenzhané, who plays brave youngster Hushpuppy in the independent film, recently revealed to Vogue’s that although her favourite colour is pink, she has no idea what she’ll actually be wearing on the red carpet come February 24.

But she will be steering clear of long dresses: ‘I might step on it, or trip on it and I don’t want to humiliate myself,’ she explained.

When asked whether she enjoyed herself at a party that was held in her honour recently, she smiled, and said: ‘Yes, I just love partying.’

Quvenzhané is up against Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva, who at 85-years-old, is the oldest Best Actress Oscar nominee.

Since her breakout role, Quvenzhané has been cast in the upcoming movie Twelve Years a Slave, which also stars Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt, and Michael Fassbender.

Quvenzhané was born in Houma, Louisiana.  Her mother, Qulyndreia, is a school teacher, and her father, Venjie, is a truck driver.

‘Quven’, the first part of her name, combines her parents’ first names, while her mother has stated that zhané means ‘fairy’ in Swahili. 

 

ESTHER BRADBURY