Quvenzhane Wallis could make Oscar history tonight by taking home the Best Actress statue for her role in the critically acclaimed drama Beasts of the Southern Wild, for which she became the youngest actor ever nominated for an Academy Award.
She was 6 years old when she played the part of Hushpuppy, the indomitable child prodigy and survivalist who lives with her dying father in the backwoods squalor of a Louisiana bayou.
At just five years old, when the part called for actors who were at least 6, Wallis had to lie about her age for the audition. She beat out 4,000 applicants to win the role, her very first acting job.
Her odds of winning the 2013 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role are 66-1. The category this year also includes Jennifer Lawrence, who is the odds-on favorite, for Silver Linings Playbook, and Emmanuelle Riva, who is the oldest actor ever nominated at age 85. Riva played a woman who’s had a stroke in the film Amour, and turns 86 years old on Hollywood’s biggest night. Also nominated are Naomi Watts for The Impossible and Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty.
Wallis, now 9, has signed on to star in Steve McQueen’s upcoming film 12 Years a Slave alongside Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt.