Quvenzhane Wallis holding up a chick in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

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A Breakout Star Is Born
Five-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis had never acted—and couldn't even read—when she auditioned to play Wink's daughter, Hushpuppy. More than 4,000 girls were up for the part when Quvenzhané (Nazie to friends and family) stepped up for the role she was meant to play. Quvenzhané also helped cast Dwight Henry as her father in the film!

Quvenzhané is now 8 years old. Her name comes from the Swahili word for "fairy" or "nymph."
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