Actress Quvenzhane (pronounced Kwa-ven-sha-nay) Wallis was five years old when she auditioned for the lead role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” six years old when she filmed it, eight years old when she watched it premiere at Sundance and go on to gather acclaim and her own record-breaking Best Actress Oscar nod, and nine when she talked to this interviewer a week before she sits down Tuesday at the Arlington to do the exact same thing. (It’s a part of the Why, she must be thinking, do these adults keep asking me about this film?)
Because it’s a phenomenal performance of grit and daring and honesty, that’s why. But one can imagine the star is unfazed by all this. When she heard about her nomination, she was in her hotel room half asleep, she says. “And my mom told me to wake up, and I woke up and I really wasn’t that excited because I was asleep. But I was very excited on the inside.”
She just finished work on Steve McQueen’s “Twelve Years a Slave” which stars Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michael Fassbender, though she doesn’t share any scenes with them. (She’s still waiting to meet Mr. Pitt.)
Right now, she’s most excited talking about her two dogs, a Yorkie called Sammy and a German shepherd called Sugar. This future star has her priorities straight at least.