Exclusive: Catching Up With Actress & Now Author Quvenzhané Wallis

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Exclusive: Catching Up With Actress & Now Author Quvenzhané Wallis
Posted by Wilson Morales

October 4, 2017

It’s been five years since Quvenzhané Wallis stole America’s hearts as Hushpuppy in the critically acclaimed Oscar nominated indie film Beasts of the Southern Wild and garnered herself an Oscar nomination for Best Actress at the age of 9, making her the youngest actress to receive that honor.

Since then, the Louisiana, NO native appeared in Steve McQueen’s 2013 Oscar winning film, 12 Years a Slave, followed a starring role in the remake of Annie opposite Jamie Foxx. Except for an appearance in Beyoncé’s award-winning music video Lemonade, Quvenzhané has also done a few projects while still growing up and being a normal kid back home. She’s currently a 9th grader in school.

At the same time, she was also switching gears and becoming an author. This week, Simon & Schuster released two children’s books by the 14-year-old. “A Night Out With Mama” is a picture book inspired by Quvenzhané’s experience attending the Academy Awards in 2013, and “Shai & Emmie Star in Break an Egg” follows the adventure of two best friends at a performing arts school. Co-written with Nancy Ohlin, “Break an Egg” is the first in a series of chapter books by Quvenzhané; the second book will be released in January.

While in New York City at a book signing in Barnes & Noble, Blackfilm.com caught up with Wallis as she talked about her latest venture as an author.

Where did the inspiration for the book come from?

Quvenzhané Wallis: I enjoy reading and making these books that I like to read or used to like to read (the picture book). I just wanted to put it out there and that’s what I like to read.

How did it take to put the book together?

QW: We started at the beginning of this year and that’s all the chapter books included.

What are you up to now?

QW: I’m a freshman in school and I play basketball, volleyball and I’m on the dance team.

The last time I saw you was in Annie. Have you done other projects since then?

QW: I did Lemonade, but we have working on this book and waiting for this day to come. Today was a big day.

What do you want kids to get out from the book?

QW: The happiness and how I feel, especially “The Night Out with Mama” because it’s based off the Oscar night with me and my mom. All the happiness and the experience I went through the night.

Have you kept in touch with any of the actors from your previous films?

QW: Yes. I try to keep in touch with some of the foster girls from Annie.

Wallis is still attached to appear with Academy Award winners Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali in the period drama The Personal History Of Rachel Dupree, which Davis will also produce. 

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