Quvenzhané Wallis has impressed a lot of people in Hollywood this awards season, but perhaps none more so than Octavia Spencer.
The star of The Help, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar last year, gave the 9-year-old nominee some sage career advice on the red carpet this year: "Always be yourself." Spencer was seen greeting Wallis at a pre-Oscar party thrown by Women in Film and immediately felt protective of the budding star.
The actress tells Page Six, "I told Quvenzhané that no matter what anybody tries to tell you, or who they want you to be, always be yourself. I told her she has a long career ahead of her and she has to stay true to herself."
Spencer had high praise for Wallis, who wowed critics and audiences with her moving performance as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild. “I was blown away by her talent," gushed Spencer. "I felt like we are looking at the next young star, the next Harry Potter."
There's no denying Wallis, who recently signed on to take over the lead role in Will Smith and Jay-Z's adaptation of Annie, has star power. The actress' love of Poochie & Co.'s dog-shaped purses, which Wallis calls her "signature" look, has caused sales of the accessory to skyrocket, according to TMZ. Wallis has carried the canine-inspired purses to nearly all her media events over the past few months.
But despite the awards, parties and film offers, Wallis gave the world an adorable reminder that she's just a little girl while being honored at a Black Women in Film luncheon by Essence magazine. The pint-sized star had to stand on a box to reach the podium and thanked her babysitter in her acceptance speech.
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(Photos from left: Michael Buckner/Getty Images, Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)