LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
Quvenzhane Wallis (L) and Emmanuelle Riva vie to win the Oscar race. AFP photo
This year’s nominees for the best actress Oscar include the oldest ever and the youngest, nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, who reportedly lied about her age to get the job.
At 85, French
actress Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour” is only two years younger than the oldest ever nominee in an acting category, 87-year-old Gloria Stuart, nominated as best supporting actress for
“Titanic” in 1997.
Riva is tipped for her role in Austrian Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” which is also nominated for best film and best foreign language film, after winning the Cannes film festival’s Palme d’Or last year.She had to fib about her age
Schoolgirl Wallis meanwhile was nominated for her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a fantasy drama in which she lives at the edge of the world in a community reminiscent of Louisiana faced with Hurricane Katrina.
According to the IMDb movie industry website, she had to fib about her age to audition for the movie, as she was five at the time and the minimum age to be considered was six.
Director Benh Zeitlin said that when he auditioned her, he realized she was what he was looking for, and changed the scrip to accommodate her “strong-willed personality,” it said.
She also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last June and told him that the Zhane part of her name means “fairy” in Swahili.
On Jan. 10, the movie’s co-producer Michael Gottwald told how filmmakers “freaked out for about 15 minutes straight” while watching the pre-dawn announcement, before going to Wallis’ hotel room to celebrate her nomination.
The other nominees up for best actress are Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook” and Naomi Watts for “The Impossible.” The winners will be announced at the 85th Academy Awards, to be held on Feb. 24 in the Dolby Theater, Hollywood.