Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, star of Beasts Of the Southern Wild, is the youngest ever nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role. (The former youngest Best Actress nominee was Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for Whale Rider when she was 13; Shirley Temple won something called the Academy Juvenile Award in 1935, when she was 6 years old.)

Quvenzhan√©, who was was five years old when she auditioned for the role of Hush Puppy, tells the AP that when she found out about the nomination, she had mixed emotions: "I woke up, and (my mother) said, ‚ÄėYou've been nominated! You're nominated!' I was like, ‚ÄėOh my God!' But it was on the inside. It wasn't on the outside."

The truth is, she is not entirely sure what the fuss is about:

Admittedly, Quvenzhan√© has never watched an Oscar telecast. ("Whenever they said you might make it to the Oscars, I was like, ‚ÄėWho's Oscar? I don't know Oscar,'" she says.) When asked who she wants to meet at the star-studded ceremony, her answer is "everyone from the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon ‚ÄĒ but not Nick at Nite."

That said, she knows something awesome is happening: "It makes me feel excited," she told Entertainment Tonight. "It makes me feel special too."

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The Beasts director describes Quvenzhané, who would like to be an "actress-dentist" when she's older, as "poised and fearless." She also seems incredibly practical, which is why she most likely won't be wearing a long gown to the Academy Awards: "I might step on it," she explains.

[The Grio via AP, HuffPo, ET]