Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm so tired of the shade being thrown at Quvenzhané Wallis

Quvenzhané Wallis as "Hush Puppy" in Beasts of the Southern Wild

When “Oscar buzz” started surrounding Quvenzhané Wallis perhaps getting nominated for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild, a lot of “unnamed sources” started saying what she did wasn’t really acting. In The Hollywood Reporter just yesterday after it was announced that SHE DID get nominated as Best Actress for her role in Beasts,
"Some fellow actors have suggested that a child performance like hers can be put together by feeding the actor lines and then doing a lot of work in the editing room."
Now there’s an old saying in Hollywood “Never work with children and animals” because they are so hard to direct. I can personally attest to half of that statement.

I’ve had to direct children in several scenes and gee freekin whiz was it hard. From rehearsal to being on set it was a challenge. What they say is true children are hard to direct!

I also get what the detractors are saying about “feeding the actor lines”. Greats like Marlon Brando are notorious for being fed lines on set (as pictured below).
Marlon Brando on the set of The Godfather
I don’t care how many lines are fed (if that was the case with Quvenzhané) ACTING those lines are a different matter. I FELT Quvenzhané’s performance. The emotion, the nuance. It was all there.

Those who know me know I’m discerning and I don’t acknowledge anything that through my knowledge and experience isn’t good or great. I’ll tell you “it was ok” in a minute! LOL.

There are some Academy Award nominated performances THIS YEAR that left me flat and thinking they were only ok. Quvenzhané’s was not one of them.

I know people are going to say what they want, it’s the nature of man, but right now I’m tired of hearing it. I wish her the best of luck in what was truly an excellent performance.
Quvenzhané Wallis
It’s going to be a long seven weeks between now and the Oscars. (February 24, 2013)

UPDATED: February 20, 2013
I also don’t vote for anyone whose name I can’t pronounce. Quvez---? Quzen---? Quyzenay? Her parents really put her in a hole by giving her that name -- Alphabet Wallis. The truth is, it’s a very sweet but immature performance from a 9-year-old. I’ve directed children. They probably did a thousand takes and put the best ones together. 

From a real (anonymous) Academy member voting for this year's Oscars. Read more here

UPDATED: February 25, 2013
Beasts star Quvenzhané Wallis cast as ‘Annie’
By Associated Press
Feb. 25, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The young Oscar-nominated star of Beasts of the Southern Wild has been cast in the lead role of a new version of Annie.

Sony Pictures announced Sunday that Quvenzhané (kwuh-VEHN’-juh-nay) Wallis will play Annie in a contemporized adaptation of the Broadway musical and the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip. It’s to be directed by Will Gluck, who loosely based his 2010 film Easy A on The Scarlet Letter.

The 9-year-old Quvenzhané is one of the youngest Oscar-nominated actors ever. She’s also shot a small role in Steve McQueen’s upcoming film, “Twelve Years a Slave.”

Annie is planned for release during the 2014 holiday season. Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z are among the producers. The Smiths’ daughter, Willow, had originally been slated to play Annie.

Watch a video profile on Quvenzhané Wallis on CBS Sunday Morning here

My review of Beasts of the Southern Wild here


  1. Now, you really said something here! Genius, when it shines through those misty clouds and reveals itself, is so seldom appreciated.

    I'll keep my comment short and sweet:

    You always hear the next great actor being billed as "the next Marlon Brando". Well, my friend, travel down the path just far enough, and you're going to hear people speak of Mr. Brando as "the prior Quvenzhané Wallis". This girl is out-right dyn-o-mite!

  2. When I saw this little girl for the first time on TV, I said WOW!! you must be very talented to discover talent like this. Great job somebody!!