Wallis was born in Houma, Louisiana, the daughter of a school teacher and a truck driver. Her name, which is to be properly pronounced as kwuh-ven-zhuh-nay, consists of “Quven-“ which is a combination of her parents’ first names and “zhane,” which her mother believes to mean “fairy” in Swahili. At the age of five, Wallis lied about her age to audition for her first acting role, the lead in a film known as Beasts of the Southern Wild, which had a minimum age of six. Wallis would blow the other 4000 hopefuls out the water to take the role as Hushpuppy.
Her character, Hushpuppy, was a child prodigy of sorts and master survivalist who lives with her ailing father in a southern Louisiana bayou called “Bathtub.” The film’s director said that Wallis’ strong-willed personality, reading skills, and ability to burp on command made her a must-have for the role. He’s even said that parts of the script had to be changed to accommodate her strong abilities and personality. Skip to today and Quvenzhané Wallis has traveled to France for the Cannes Film Festival where Beasts won the prestigious Caméra d’Or award for Best first Feature Film, as well as to the Sundance Film Festival where the film won the Grand Jury Prize. Then on January 10, 2013 it was announced that at age 9, Wallis would be the all-time youngest nominee for Best Actress at the Oscars (third youngest in all categories).
A beautiful story of accomplishment and hard work from someone younger than 99.9% of everyone reading this article. For that, we at Wisdom From The Field would like to give a big salute to Quvenzhané Wallis and her family for this prideful accomplishment. I’d also like to thank them for making our history just that much richer.
On a MOVE!