Getting any kind of role in a movie is a dream come true for an aspiring actor. However, what if in the very first audition he/she gets cast in the lead role, which leads to the nomination of Hollywood's prestigious Oscar award. That, is exactly what is happening with the lead star of Beasts of the Southern Wild - Nine-year-old, Quvenzhane Wallis.
What's amazing about this is that Wallis had never really dreamt about being an actress - Instead, she had always aspired to be a dentist. But, when the New Orleans native and her mother heard about the auditions, they decided to give it a try, even though Quvenzhane was just five years old and the filmmakers were seeking kids between the ages of 6-9.
Turned out that it was the right decision! The youngster who beat out 4,000 other competitors was so brilliant in her portrayal of the character of Hushpuppy that age became just a number that could be ignored.
The rest as they say, is history! The limited budget film which was shot in a remote part of Southern Louisiana first drew attention when it was released at Utah's Sundance Festival in 2012. The buzz increased further after it received many accolades at the International Cannes Festival in Paris - And now, the Oscars. Besides the Best Actress category, the film has also been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Benh Zeitlin) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin).
So how is little Quvenzhane handling all this fame? Like a real professional. She seems to be enjoying the media attention and has even started carrying around a little puppy purse that she bought when she started making the film, which contains amongst other things, a packet of tissues and lipstick. She is currently working on Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave co-starring with none other than Brad Pitt, a short Sundance movie Boneshaker, and, if rumors are to be believed, is also being considered for a remake of the Broadway musical Annie!
While Quvenzhane is the youngest nominee for lead role, she is not the youngest ever to be nominated. That credit goes to Justin Henry who was just eight years old when he was given the nod for his role in the 1979 drama 'Kramer vs. Kramer'. And the youngest person to ever win an Oscar? Ten-year old Tatum O'Neal for her performance in the 1973 movie 'Paper Moon'. Whether this young girl will be able to break Tatum's long-standing record this Sunday, is anybody's guess, but in the eyes of many, she is already a winner! Best of luck!
Resources: Huffingtonpost.com, the advertiser.com,todayentertainment.today.com, wikipedia.org