It's the hard-knock life for Quvenzhane Wallis! The adorable young Oscar nominee, now 10, was photographed on the Harlem, NY set of the remake of Annie on Sept. 17. And it looks like she's happily getting into character!
The gifted actress -- who impressed moviegoers with her naturalistic, impassioned performance as Hush Puppy in 2012's fantastical Southern Gothic movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild -- is taking on the beloved Broadway character for a film reboot from director Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends With Benefits). The movie, which is slated to be released Christmas Day 2014, has attracted a bevy of A-listers. Jay-Z and Will Smith are producing; Oscar winner Jamie Foxx has signed on to play "Daddy" Warbucks; and Cameron Diaz will star as Miss Hannigan.
Wallis' Annie style is a modern interpretation of the original character's iconic scrappy look. In a photo taken on the set, Wallis can be seen riding on a CitiBike, New York's public rentable two-wheelers, wearing a pink sweatshirt, T-shirt, denim skirt, gray tights, pink high-tops and a polkadot backpack. Her hair, worn big and curly, is reminiscent of the memorable red curls sported by Aileen Quinn in the first movie, released in 1982.
When the remake was first announced in 2011, Smith's daughter Willow was attached to play the lead character. But early this year, she backed out. Speaking at Temple University in February, Smith recounted how his daughter broke the news to him. "Willow was supposed to be doing Annie, we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in, and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with 'Whip my Hair,' and she said, 'You know, Daddy, I don't think so,' " he shared. "I said, 'Baby, hold up!' I said, 'No, no, no, listen -- you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyoncé will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.' "