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While praised for her maturity and talent, some believe nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis should experience adolescence instead of being subjected to the spotlight.
At age nine, Wallis is the youngest actress ever to be nominated for the Academy Awards. She is competing against Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Emmanuelle Riva, and Naomi Watts for Best Actress for her role as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Benh Zeitlin, director of Beasts, believes it is an honor well-deserved, acknowledging her mentality was well beyond her years on set, reports The Associated Press.
“The fact that she had an internal sense of when she's in character, when she's getting the emotions right and feeling it, is really special even in experienced actors, but especially someone of her age to have that sort of self-awareness,” Zeitlin commented.
Having first-hand experience as a child star beginning at age 9, Tracey Tofte’s opinion differs in favoring the actors who have been in the business longer.
The now 41-year-old real estate agent remarked of her performance, “I'm sure this young girl did a phenomenal job and deserves the nomination, but there are veteran actors and actresses who have never had those accolades and they've been working their craft and dealing with the ups and downs of this industry.”
Thelma Adams, editor at Yahoo! Movies, adds that Wallis should be able to enjoy the carefree nature of childhood without succumbing to the pressures of the industry.
“I’ve seen her at parties. I saw a little girl who’d rather be riding a pony at a kids’ party,” Adams stated. “To have her nominated, it's not good for her, no matter how great she was in the movie, and she was terrific , but this red carpet thing is a grind.”
According to The Washington Post, Wallis questions her decision to do Beasts “almost every day.”
In the end her goal is to “be what kids believe in.”