Quvenzhané Wallis has made history. The 9-year-old actress is the youngest ever nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for this year’s 85th annual Academy Awards. Wallis, who was five when she auditioned for the role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, has received critical acclaim for her portrayal of the character Hushpuppy.
The Louisiana-born Wallis, beat out former record-holder Keisha Castle-Hughes who was nominated for Whale Rider at age 13. Wallis is up for the honor against Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook, Naomi Watts for The Impossible, and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour. Riva is interestingly now the oldest nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role (she turns 86 on Feb. 24, which is Oscar night).
Wallis has been cast in the upcoming movie Twelve Years a Slave, which also stars Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt, and Michael Fassbender, since her breakout role in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Beasts of the Southern Wild was nominated for a total of four awards.
The announcement was made this morning.