Photo by Jess Pinkham

Young Actresses, Big Roles

November 3–4, 2012

First-time actress Quvenzhané Wallis was just 5 years old when she was cast in the leading role as the strong-willed Hushpuppy in this year’s breakout American independent hit Beasts of the Southern Wild. Her astonishing portrayal brings to mind some timeless screen performances by young actresses in movies that were also set in the American South, such as Tatum O’Neal’s Oscar-winning turn in Paper Moon, and Mary Badham’s unforgettable portrayal of Scout in the 50-year-old classic To Kill a Mockingbird.