Young 'Beasts' star celebrates a magical 2012
05:00 AM, Jan 16, 2013
Every Oscar season has its heartwarming story.
This time, it might be the tale of nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis and her magical 2012. The first-time actress began her wild ride a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival with her breakout performance as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
“We were under the impression that they would show the movie and after Sundance that would be it,” says her mother, Qulyndreia, who responded to an audition call for young actors that took place near their Houma, La., home. Quvenzhané was just 5, and her mother says “we had no idea in a million years that we would be where we are today.”
Beasts became a Sundance sensation, taking top honors. Then the dreamy tale of a young girl surviving in a harsh dystopian future wowed audiences at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The following month the movie opened in the U.S. to rave reviews film critic Roger Ebert called Wallis “a force of nature”.
Meanwhile, Quvenzhané charmed everyone in her path from her first moments on the Sundance red carpet to her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
And the young star could shine just as brightly in 2013: She’s frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the Academy Awards nominations being announced Jan. 10.
“I’ve loved watching Quvenzhané grow up and conquer one situation after another,” says Beasts director Benh Zeitlin.
“I really didn’t think any of this would happen,” says Quvenzhané. “It’s been the perfect year.”
Quvenzhané reflects on some of her favorite moments in 2012 in the slideshow above