Page 3 Profile: Quvenzhané Wallis, the new little orphan Annie

  • @oscarquine

Well, who’s this little scamp?

Say HELLO *jazz hands* to Quvenzhané Wallis.

Uhh, hi.

Quvenzhané -  pronounced kwuh-ven-zhuh-nay - will play Annie in a new version of the perennial all-singing, all-dancing eponymous musical, set to be released on Christmas Day.

So young…

…yet already so experienced. Aged 10, this is her third feature length film - and she’s already been nominated for an Oscar.


Yup. Auditioning for the lead role in her breakthrough film Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis had to lie about her age, then five, as it was a strictly six-plus audition. It paid off: she became the youngest Academy Award nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role, the first African-American child actor and the first person born in the 21st century to earn a nomination.

Who else is on this bill?

The film, which is being produced by rap emperor Jay-Z and movie god Will Smith, will see Wallis resurrect the all-singing,  all-dancing orphan who lives with her tyrannical carer Miss Hannigan, played by Cameron Diaz.

Updated to modern-day New York City, her hard-knock life takes an upward turn when billionaire political candidate Mr Stacks, given life by Jamie Foxx, takes her under his wing with an eye to furthering his mayoral campaign.

Biting satire!

Not quite. From the first trailer, released yesterday, it seems cinema-goers can look forward to a charming/nauseating (delete as you see appropriate) mix of schmaltz and sass with – thanks to Jay-Z’s musical input on the soundtrack – added bass and auto-tune.

What else have we seen her in?

Most recently, Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave. She played Margaret Northup, daughter of lead character Solomon, alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt. It seems that while most kids Wallis’ age are practising their ABCs, she’s keeping it strictly A-list.