First lady Michelle Obama seemed pumped to host the director and cast members of the Academy Award-nominated film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" at the White House on Wednesday, but she had to get over one hurdle first -- pronouncing actress Quvenzhane Wallis' name.
"Qua-vah-gin-ay -- did I say that right?" Obama asked. Nope, wrong. "Qua-vin-jah-nay Wallis," she tried again. The 9-year-old actress, wearing practically all pink, was on hand with her co-star Dwight Henry and director Benh Zeitlin to answer questions from students visiting from New Orleans and D.C. for Black History Month.
"Ben, Dwight and Quvenzhane ... did I get that right? Do you have a nickname?" Obama queried. "A few," the young actress replied. "OK, none you're willing to share with me?" the first lady smiled back. "Q," the actress replied. "Q? Can I call you Q?" Obama continued, to "Q's" nod yes. "And Q, my girl Q here is the youngest nominee, the youngest person to ever be nominated for an Academy Award, and that's a very big accomplishment."
The first lady also shared why she liked the film so much -- it's sweet and short. "That's the other cool thing, that a director and a set of writers can say so much in just 93 minutes," Obama laughed. "It doesn't always happen in a movie, quite frankly."