Quvenzhané Wallis
Source: Josh Brasted/WireImage

Young Voices, Big Impact: Quvenzhané Wallis' Advocacy


Nov. 24 2023, Published 10:06 a.m. ET

Quvenzhané Wallis made headlines when she became the youngest candidate to be nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. She earned the nomination courtesy of her part in the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild. Wallis also made an appearance on 12 Years a Slave and in the animated movie Trolls she was the voice of Harper.

In recent years, the young actress has made appearances in a variety of projects including the upcoming movie Breathe, ABC’s hit sitcom Black-ish and Swagger – an Apple TV+ series.

As a highly successful actress, Wallis represents a growing breed of young talents looking to dominate the entertainment industry. Here’s everything you need to know about the actress.

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Who is Quvenzhané Wallis?

Wallis is a Louisiana native who was born in 2003. Her parents are Venjie Wallis Sr. a truck driver and Qulyndreia a teacher. She got her name from a combination of the first syllables in the names of her parents. The actress is the youngest of four siblings.

According to her Instagram bio, the Annie star loves pets, dance, and volleyball. Growing up she also used to enjoy playing basketball with her siblings.

Path To Stardom

To earn the part that thrust her into stardom, Wallis had to lie her way into the auditions. While she did get her mother’s permission to audition for the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild the young actress lied about her age – as she was 5 and the role called for someone aged 6. However, she stood out during the audition, beating 4,000 kids to secure the part.

The director of the film – Benh Zeitlin – was so impressed by her performance that he opted to change the role, and the lines that came with it, to make it a better fit for the young actress.

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Other Acting Roles

After her breakout role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis was able to secure appearances in a variety of films and TV shows. After a brief hiatus from the world of entertainment, the budding actress returned to acting with an appearance in the ABC hit sitcom “Black-ish” in 2019. She returned in 2021 with a bigger role in Apple TV+’s Swagger. She played the character Crystal.

In 2014, Wallis was cast in the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway show Annie as the main character. This earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical category.

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Charitable Causes

“I've never really experienced it before, but when I was on the set for Annie and didn't have any breakfast, I wasn't in a good mood, she told Woman’s Day.

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On top of being a talented and accomplished actress, Wallis is also a children’s book author. The Swagger star made her foray into writing back in 2014 after securing a book deal.

Quvenzhané’s creative works include a picture book titled A Night Out with Mama and three installments under the Shai & Emmie children’s book series.

So, what’s next? Only time will tell.

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