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So What’s Next For Quvenzhané Wallis?

So What's Next For Quvenzhané Wallis?

The accolades have been virtually non-stop since the film and its star bowed at the Sundance Film Festival in January, this year. And while the director of that film, Benh Zeitlin – Beasts Of The Southern Wild – likely won’t have much difficulty building on the success of the film, as his career as a filmmaker blossoms, what about its star, Quvenzhané Wallis?

I’ve watched her spellbind hosts and reporters in interview after interview, as audiences watch in wonder, charmed by the young lady’s personality. But I keep waiting to read an announcement about her being cast in any future feature projects.

Granted she’s 8-years-old, and I suppose work is scarce for young black girls, but I actually think she’d be a hot property right now, and directors would be fighting over themselves to cast her in something… anything… if only to capitalize on all the press she’s been getting for her performance in Beasts (press that even includes talk of an Oscar nomination).

Unless I’ve just missed an announcement, but I’ve been watching fairly closely, with my antennae on alert for any news about Ms Wallis that doesn’t have anything to do with Beasts Of The Southern Wild.

I suppose there could be some deals in development that haven’t been officially announced yet, as I think the world would be really interested in seeing what she does next. I know I am. Ok, so maybe not the entire world, but you know what I mean. She’s been everywhere, and has become an instant celebrity, practically overnight, thanks to director Zeitlin’s request that she fill little Hushpuppy’s tiny, but simultaneously massive shoes.

She’s, as I said in my review, a miniature force of nature with a natural onscreen charisma, and her performance only seems to get better as the film progresses, and more is required of both her and the character she plays.

And that’s why I’m looking forward to seeing the short film titled Boneshaker by Frances Bodomo – a Ghanaian filmmaker based in New York City, and Columbia University grad; currently an MFA Candidate and Dean’s Fellow at NYU’s Graduate Film Program.

We featured Boneshaker in April, and I think it’ll be Ms Wallis’ first post-Beast film, which I would say instantly raises the film’s profile, something that I’m sure Frances is aware of. At least, I would think so.

Boneshaker centers on “a Ghanaian family, lost in America, [that] travels to a Louisiana church to cure their violent daughter.

The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis, and it certainly has my attention, based on the short 40-second teaser embedded below, if you haven’t seen it yet:


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My Quvenzhané hair envy is raging…


Her mother should let her act only to the point where she can make enough money to send her to college to become the dentist she wants to be.


Personally, as a parent, I would NOT want her to have a hollywood career. The town is littered with too many bodies of child stars, such as Gary Coleman, Corey Haim, soon to be Lindsey Lohan. If she WANTS to be an actor may her career follow the trajectory of Giancarlo Esposito, Regina King, Lawrence Fishburne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kirsten Dunst and the ULTIMATE successful child star RON HOWARD.


She said she wanted to be a dentist and still wants to be one.


Why do people WANT this child to become a big time actress? She is only eight years old that's simply too young. Let the girl be a kid. Do people remember Keisha Castle Hughes the youngest female to be nominated for a best actress Oscar for Whale Rider? Hughes is still acting but she struggled with problems. Hughes got pregnant at the tender age of seventeen, and she faced a lot of media scrutiny in Australia and New Zealand.


Quvenzhané is a wake up call to all screenwriters/directors. Write the roles! Her face is the furthest from archetype and trope.


Dakota and her family intentionally took a dip into the acting/Hollywood pool. It was part of the plan, part of their larger goals. From everything I read about Ms. Wallis her acting debut came almost by accident. Acting wasn't necessarily something she thought of before "Beasts". Is she in it for the long haul? We can't say for sure yet. So why are we trying to rush it? Goodness sakes she is eight. There aren't many roles for eight year old girls in Hollywood in the first place. Normally the process would be she would go from a main role in an independent film to perhaps a supporting role in a major film, playing the daughtter of the lead character. This would be easier if she was white since there are far more films involving white families than there are with black families. Sure, I suppose she can play a biracial child or an adopted child but the point remains there are still going to be less opportunities for little girls, particularly non-white little girls. But its early. Lets give it some time


She truly is a "miniature force of nature". I was astounded by her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild.


She has a new fan. I loved her performance as Hushpuppy. I would love for her to have a great acting career. But not a the expense of her childhood. However, I really want to see how her career will take off.


I was wondering the same thing and at the risk of pandering to racial stereotypes I'll go ahead and say, what the hell? When other child stars such as Dakota Fanning did their breakout roles (hers at 5 in I am Sam) it truly was a BREAKOUT role, the Fanning has been working ever since. So what's the deal? I read that Wallis still doesn't even have representation. What's going on? At that age, race shouldn't really be an issue, there are tons of roles for "kids" that are not race specific. C'mon Hollywood! Be better.

the black police

So do you think screewriters are now writing new scripts specifically with her in mind? I mean her buzz is still new. Wait a while. Or do you think she can be casted in readt scripts? Well "I suppose work is scarce for young black girls" addresses that. She'll probably be in the next Tyler Perry movie.


Q is a phenomenally gifted child and a born natural. Sure hope she, and her mother (family), doesn't get blinded by dollars and get sucked in immediately into the morass of the biz, only to get spit out in her adolescence as a has been who regrets trading in her childhood for something fleeting.

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