23 January 2013 10:33 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

This year's Oscar nominations yielded plenty of snubs, but for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," it was nothing but pleasant surprises. Benh Zeitlin's feature-length directorial debut follows a young heroine as she embarks on a mythical quest to save her town and her father. The indie darling earned four Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, making her the youngest nominee in that category's history. But who is this pint-sized powerhouse? Check out the full rundown on the star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Who Is Quvenzhané Wallis? Wallis is a nine-year-old actress, born in Houma, Louisiana. She first auditioned for the lead of "Beasts" at the tender age of five. A fact that she had to lie about in order to meet the minimum audition age of six years old. She went on to earn the role of Hushpuppy, »

- Jessie Heyman

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