Quvenzhané Wallis
Source: Josh Brasted/WireImage

Exploring Quvenzhané Wallis' Artistic Versatility


Nov. 17 2023, Published 10:06 a.m. ET

After securing the role of Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild at the age of 5, Quvenzhané Wallis started her journey towards stardom.

The young actress would go on to secure an Oscar nomination at the age of 9, for her impeccable performance in that film. This worked to open more doors for the youngest Black actress to be nominated for the Academy Awards. Soon after, Quvenzhané got to play the leading role of Annie in the big screen adaptation of the Broadway show Annie and was also featured in the iconic movie 12 Years a Slave.

Continue reading for more about the artistic exploits of this exciting young star.

Budding Author

The fast-rising star has continued to excel at acting, earning her roles in an upcoming action thriller Breathe and the popular T.V. series Swagger. Quvenzhané also appeared on ABC’s hit sitcom Black-ish, back in 2019. Even with all her onscreen success, she also decided to start a career as an author – at the age of 14 – thanks to her versatile artistic talents.

Quvenzhané secured a book deal with Simon and Schuster – marking the start of her new career path. In 2017, she released her first two children’s books through the publisher. The first was a picture book titled A Night Out with Mama. This creative work drew inspiration from her night at the Oscars. The second book, Shai & Emmie Star in Break an Egg, follows the lives of a pair of best friends attending a performing arts institution.

In 2018, the budding author followed this up with two more releases titled Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants and Shai & Emmie Star into The Rescue.

During an interview at the Southern Independent Book Sellers Alliance held in New Orleans at the time of the release of her first two titles, she stated that she got her inspiration to write from her love for reading – she stated, “It’s something I would want everyone to do.”

In the same interview, the Annie star said that she normally reads material from all genres as she does not have any favorite authors. To bring her writing projects to life, Quvenzhané worked with co-author Nancy Ohlin. Her mother also chimed in by saying that Nancy helped them bring everything together.

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Quvenzhané Wallis has also been at the center of the fight for equality. Back in 2013, the young actress was subjected to sexist and misogynistic insults referring to her in a slur. This combined with the fact that some reporters could not refer to her in her name – not bothering to find out how it’s pronounced – led to a heated debate about racial and gender equality, all centering on the young star.

Sports and Activities

In addition to being an actress and budding author, Wallis also loved sports while growing up. According to her Instagram bio, she has always loved volleyball and cheer. This might explain her ability to flawlessly take on the Crystal character on Swagger. In the show, Quvenzhané plays the role of a highly talented and hard-working basketball protégé who rivals the best male players with her skills. However, the actress has been adamant that she only played basketball with her siblings when growing up – and wasn’t overly interested in the sport over and above that setting. Quvenzhané is also big on dance.

Is there anything she can’t do?

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