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Great Performance: Quvenzhané Wallis

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Paola Kudacki for TIME Quvenzhané Wallis
Performance: Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild (Oscar nomination, Best Actress)
Benh Zeitlin’s magical-realist take on Hurricane Katrina rests on the tiny shoulders of its charismatic star, who at 9 is the youngest Best Actress contender in Oscar history. “I wasn’t surprised on the outside,” Wallis says of the nomination, “but I was on the inside.”

For our 2013 Great Performances portfolio, TIME spoke with 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, nominated for Best Actress for her role as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Quvenzhané Wallis
Performance: Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild (Oscar nomination, Best Actress)

Benh Zeitlin’s magical-realist take on Hurricane Katrina rests on the tiny shoulders of its charismatic star, who at 9 is the youngest Best Actress contender in Oscar history. “I wasn’t surprised on the outside,” Wallis says of the nomination, “but I was on the inside.”

The Performers Speak:


See a Compilation of Highlights from the 2013 Great Performers

More Portraits of the 2013 Great Performers by Paola Kudacki

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