Quvenzhané Wallis*“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” in all of its controversial essence, was a top pick at both Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals earlier this year.

Critics were absolutely taken aback by the films sheer brilliance and riveting storyline, which included a 6-year-old heroine addict.

Quvenzhané Wallis, who was six at the time of production, worked the screen playing the role of Hushpuppy. In an interview on the “Tonight Show,” the now 8-year-old big screen diva showed her naturally charismatic personality along with her wit, telling  host Jay Leno that he’s asking her the wrong questions.  It’s hilarious. Scroll down to watch.

Even as a young star, her standout abilities have caught the eye of some of the industry’s harshest critics, softening them to praise.

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The New York Times bragged about her performance, writing that Wallis is the “inheritor of a proud literary and artistic tradition, following along a crooked path traveled by Huckleberry Finn, Scout Finch, Eloise (of the Plaza), Elliott (from “E.T.”) and other brave, wild, imaginary children.”

At a point in the story, her eyes well up with tears until they finally came streaming down her cheeks. She told the press at a recent screening that the director asked people to sit down and tell her sad stories to prepare her for the moment.

This Friday, catch “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Dallas. It’s already playing in New York and Los Angeles.