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It shouldn’t be hard to guess who’s the talk of the playground at Louisiana’s Honduras Elementary School today.
The hot topic in question would be none other than nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, who was given the Academy Award nod for her portrayal of the adventurous “Hushpuppy” in Beasts of the Southern Wild this morning.
The film, which has garnered praises from everyone, including Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama, follows an imaginative young girl who lives wither dying father in a poor Louisiana bayou.
As a means of getting better acquainted with the young talent before her Oscar debut, here are five things you need to know about Miss Wallis (via Yahoo! Movies at The Oscars):
1) Her name is pronounced Kwe-VEN-zhah-nay, and means “fairy” in Swahili (though she is from Louisiana). She also goes by Nazie — pronounced NAY-zee – and Little Q.
2) The youngest Best Actress nominee to date, Wallis shares the category with the oldest nominee in the category’s history, Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour.” At 85, Riva is also the second-oldest Oscar nominee of all acting categories — second to Gloria Stuart who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at age 87 for her role in 1997′s “Titanic.”
3) “Beasts” was Wallis’ first performance on film. One of her follow up projects is an 1800s, New York-set historical drama with Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti and Benedict Cumberbatch called “Twelve Years a Slave.”
4) She is said to have a similar personality to her “Beasts” character Hushpuppy. They both love animals and enjoy going on adventures.
5) The “Beasts” audition was for six-to-nine-year-olds. Wallis’ mom fibbed about her age — then five — to get her the chance to tryout.
Be sure to tune in to the 85th annual Academy Awards show on Feb. 24th!