In a joint interview with Marlee Martin, Quvenzhane Wallis revealed who she would thank, if she found herself onstage accepting the Oscar for Best Actress, on Sunday evening (February 24, 2013). The nine year old has been nominated for her performance as the character Hushpuppy, in the movie The Beasts of the Southern Wild and if she is successful, she will become the youngest ever person to win the award.

Speaking alongside the actress who currently holds that title, Marlee Matlin, Wallis told The Hollywood Reporter that she would thank God, first and foremost and added “and thank you for who gave me this and thanks for all the people who were before me.” At that point, Matlin jokingly suggested that Quvenzhane should be remembering to thank her, too, to which Wallis nodded, and gestured, telling her “I’ll make sure.” Matlin, who won the Oscar for her performance in the 1986 movie Children of a Lesser God, was full of praise for Wallis. “In my eyes, you’re a winner,” she told the young actress and reminded her that even being nominated is a serious accolade and a huge achievement for one so young.

Quvenzhane Wallis is the long-shot for the award, according to the bookies. Still, if she won, at least she has some kind of a speech prepared, if she manages to remember it once she’s on stage. Matlin recalled that her heart was “beating out of my chest” when she collected her award, at the age of 21. 

Watch Quvenzhane and Marlee in conversation


Quvenzhane Wallis

Quvenzhane Wallis at the Oscar Nomineees Luncheon