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'Beasts of the Southern Wild' star is poised, fearless - director

January 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The youngest person ever nominated in the Oscar best actress race is 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis of "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

Wallis was just 5 when she auditioned for director Benh Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild." She was 6 when she made the film.

Since the movie's release last year, she has received lots of attention. Now, she will be on the world's biggest stage: Oscar. It's something completely new to a little girl from Houma, La.

"I never watched it ever before," Wallis said, adding that whenever people would say she might make it to the Oscars, she had no idea what they were talking about.

Wallis' director says his young star is taking all the awards season excitement in stride.

"It's magical. She's just poised and fearless," Zeitlin said. "I saw that the first day I ever met her when she was five, and to this day, she just knows who she is, and she's confident. I think it's a real inspiration to just not be afraid. She's really not afraid of anything."

Zeitlin is nominated for directing "Beasts of the Southern Wild." The film also made the list for best picture of the year.

"Just the fact that the Academy chose to support this little movie with all first-time people and no stars, it's really just such a beautiful thing for independent films, and I am really proud to hopefully represent that right," Zeitlin said.

While the duo prepares to celebrate on Oscar Sunday, Wallis said there's a little research she still needs to do: She has no clue about Oscar fashion.

"We have to look it up on the Internet. That's where we take all our answers," Wallis said.

She says one fashion decision she's already made is she won't wear a long dress because she says she might step on it.

If you haven't seen "Beasts of the Southern Wild," it went back into theaters last Friday.


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