Quvenzhané Wallis, the young star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, is the toast of Tinseltown after this morning's Oscar nominations gave her the distinction, at the age of nine, of becoming the youngest person to ever be nominated by the Academy for Best Actress. And she's just excited as the rest of us. She said (via The Wrap):
"Thank you to all you Oscar folks, from me, my mom and my dad. I am so happy for Benh and Lucy and the gang in Louisiana. Meeting all these great new people is one of the best parts for me. I want to thank my family, friends, fans and everyone so much. Beast it!"
"Beast it!" That's definitely a better catchphrase than James Cameron's "I'm the king of the world!" — and it's a bit more family-friendly than that line from Argo, which is all the more useful after Ben Affleck got snubbed for Best Director. We hope the line — or at least some sort of #BeastIt hashtag — becomes a standard rallying cry for Beasts of the Southern Wild, the independent film that ended up with four nominations total: Wallis for Best Actress, plus Best Picture, Best Actress, and Bests Adapted Screenplay.
Wallis has been celebrating with director Benh Zeitlin, who told Entertainment Weekly: "Right now what we’ve been doing is trying to jump back and forth on the bed as many times as possible." He added: "That’s what I used to do with my sister when I was growing up and she is my new little sister. This really is a miracle. I don’t think anything like this has ever happened before. She deserves every bit of this and she is just a miraculous human being. I can’t believe it!"
Naturally, everyone is eager to learn more about Wallis before the big day. Slate has a guide on how to pronounce her name, while the Telegraph is analyzing her fashion choices and her penchant for purses fashioned to look like stuffed dogs.
Young Oscar nominees have a history of being cute at the ceremony (see: Anna Paquin) and Wallis will be no exception. We're hoping to hear lot more from her before February 24, but in the meantime, how about reading an interview she did with Rookie or cooing over this photo of her with her now-competitor (and oldest Best Actress nominee ever) Emmanuelle Riva?