SBIFF honors six Virtuosos of 2012 at the Arlington

The Virtuosos Award evening at the Arlington Theatre Tuesday night brought in six actors who had breakout roles last year in everything from indie features to big-budget Hollywood films.

It was the kind of evening that showed the Santa Barbara International Film Festival brings in not only superstars, but also actors who may turn out to be stars in their own right. See for example, previous years’ honoring of Marion Cotillard and Viola Davis.

The six for this year, each interviewed in separate 20-minute segments, were Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy and Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis

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Young Oscar nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis, takes it all in stride

Quvenzhane Wallis COURTESY PHOTO
Quvenzhane Wallis

Actress Quvenzhane (pronounced Kwa-ven-sha-nay) Wallis was five years old when she auditioned for the lead role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” six years old when she filmed it, eight years old when she watched it premiere at Sundance and go on to gather acclaim and her own record-breaking Best Actress Oscar nod, and nine when she talked to this interviewer a week before she sits down Tuesday at the Arlington to do the exact same thing. (It’s a part of the Why, she must be thinking, do these adults keep asking me about this film?)

Because it’s a phenomenal performance of grit and daring and honesty, that’s why. But one can imagine the star is unfazed by all this. When she heard about her nomination, she was in her hotel room half asleep, she says. “And my mom told me to wake up, and I woke up and I really wasn’t that excited because I was asleep. But I was very excited on the inside.”

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