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Child film star (9) charms critics in first starring role

AT JUST nine years old, Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest woman, ahem, girl ever to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar -- and judging by her appearance at the Critics' Choice Awards last night, she'll take it all in her stride.

Clutching her pink teddy, The Beasts of the Southern Wild star is already adapting to Hollywood's awards season madness as she picked up an award for Best Young Actor.

She was just five when she first auditioned for the film's lead role of Hushpuppy, a little girl struggling to survive with her ailing father in the southern Delta as a storm approaches.


Despite never having watched the Oscars, Quvenzhane will find herself at next month's ceremony.

"I woke up, and (my mother) said, 'You've been nominated! You're nominated!'" she recalls. "I was like, 'Oh my God!' But it was on the inside. It wasn't on the outside."

When it comes to fashion, Quvenzhane is open to wearing "all colours except for black by itself" on the big day, and she's not interested in wearing a really long gown.

"I might step on it," she explains, matter-of-factly.