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Awards Season
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Youngest-ever Best Actress nominee speaks to Stylist

Quvenzhane Wallis is attending the Oscars on February 24th. Like many nine-year-old girls she’s really excited about “being there and seeing all the people.” She’s hoping to spot some of her favourite celebrities: Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Selena Gomez. She’s also nominated in the Best Actress category, the youngest person ever to be nominated for the prestigious award.

Quvenzhane is nominated for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. It’s well-deserved. The film follows a rural community, surviving outside of mainstream society, in a Louisiana bayou. Quvenzhane plays the heroine, Hushpuppy, a tiny girl living alone with her father and both innocent and wild. Their way of life is threatened by an era-defining hurricane and her father’s illness.

But despite carrying one of the best films of 2012, Quvenzhane has plans outside of acting. “I want to be a dentist!” she announces proudly to Stylist. “I think I can be an actor and a dentist. I can have a career and do acting as well.” When asked about the presence of any other dentists or future-dentists at the Academy Awards, she thinks for a while before saying: “I don’t know anyone who’s going to be there, so I couldn’t answer for sure. But there are a lot of people going, so who knows?”

She still attends school in her native New Orleans and enjoys “math because it’s easy.” She also enjoyed keeping up with homework on the set of Beasts “because my tutor made it fun.”

In common with many from her hometown she has a passion for crabs, shrimp and crawfish (“Isn’t it delicious?”) and enjoyed the shellfish she got to eat in her film role. Her scooter and her bike are also important, as are her dogs, Sammy and Sagar. “We play, they bark and snort and do all kinds of fun stuff.”

Quvenzhane Wallis is still more of a child than a child star: polite and sweet with nothing of the brat about her. She’s also a fantastic actor. Good luck Quvenzhane.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is out now on DVD & Blu-ray