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Comment 05 FEBRUARY 2013

Little Miss Sunshine: Young nominee Quvenzhane Wallis steals the show at Oscars luncheon

In a little over two weeks Quvenzhane Wallis will be walking the red carpet at the 85th Academy Awards.

Little wonder then that nine-year-old Quvenzhane - the youngest ever best actress nominee for her role in the Beasts of the Southern Wild  - is feeling on top of the world.

Surrounded by Hollywood's finest, the bubbly youngster stole the show when she attended the Oscar Nominations Luncheon in Beverly Hills on Monday.


Quvenzhane Wallis


Dressed in a pretty party dress and carrying one of her trademark puppy purses, Quvenzhane seemed completely at ease in a room full of silver screen stars.

Perhaps it all felt a little surreal as she took her place next to Bradley Cooper for the official luncheon photograph, sitting metres away from the likes of Dame Helen Mirren and Hugh Jackman.

But the uninhibited young nominee gave no sign of nerves as she beamed her beautiful smile for the camera.

Last week, Quvenzhane made a special appearance on the Jay Leno Show where she won over the audience discussing who she hoped to meet at the Oscars.


Bradley Cooper

"Well it's going to be a long list," she declared, before specifically naming Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce.

She also revealed who she would be taking as her date for the night. "This," she said proudly holding her puppy purse aloft. "And my mum".

Nominated for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhane lied about her age to secure the part - at the time she was just five and the minimum age for consideration was six.

But she beat 4,000 young hopefuls for the chance to play Hushpuppy, the film's brave protagonist. When director Benh Zeitlin first met Quvenzhane he was so struck by her talent and personality that he decided to adapt the script for her.


Oscars Luncheon

By the time awards season comes to an end, and with her first Academy Awards under her belt, Quvenzhane will feel at ease rubbing shoulders with the A-list set.

It's just as well. Following her breakout performance in the Beasts of the Southern Wild, the youngster's next project sees her star alongside Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in historical drama film 12 Years A Slave.

That's quite a feat for a nine-year-old girl from Louisiana.

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