Quvenzhané Wallis is the latest actress to hit Hollywood by storm. If you haven’t heard of her, her name is sure to become as familiar as Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway or Drew Barrymore. Wallis is a young 9-year-old actress, who became the youngest Academy Award nominee for Best Actress for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Let’s start off by learning how to pronounce the young girl’s name as we are sure you will be saying it quite a bit. According to a phonetic spelling that Roger Ebert worked on with the young actress, it’s kwa van je nay.
Quvenzhane was born in August 1983 in Houma, Louisiana, the daughter of a teacher and a truck driver. At the age of five she 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 of Louisiana.
The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received much acclaim and praised Wallis for her outstanding performance. Wallis became the Academy Awards’ all-time youngest nominee for Best Actress and won an award for Best Young Actress at the Critics Choice Awards.