Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis Bring Holiday Magic to the ESSENCE December Cover
Peggy Sirota

Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis are the perfect pair on the cover of ESSENCE’s December issue. The two actors play father and daughter in the sugary sweet, sure-to-be-a-classic remake of the musical Annie (out December 19) produced by Will and Jada Smith and Jay Z.

We already knew Foxx had some dance moves and singing chops. But Quvenzhané Wallis? The pint-sized actress has got it. She dances and sings her way into our hearts as Annie, a tough-as-nails orphan who lives in Harlem and has a chance encounter with billionaire Will Stacks (Foxx) that changes her life. Soon, Annie melts Stacks’ heart. And ours.

It’s a role some may not have expected of Wallis, whose resumé includes 12 Years a Slave and Beasts of the Southern Wild, for which she became the youngest person ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. But, Foxx tells ESSENCE, the 11-year-old actress was the perfect choice. “It’s sort of like she’s tailor-made for the role in a sense,” Foxx says.

“I would challenge you to find a girl who personifies Annie better than Quvenzhané.”

“Yes, that’s me really singing,” concurs Wallis.

On set of the cover shoot, Foxx and Wallis are all fun and games, bringing much of the playful energy from the film to real life. They sing and dance, and even pantomime scenes only they’re clued in on as if they’re in their own magical bubble of holiday cheer.

“I like working with Jamie,” says Wallis. “He’s fun.”

For more on how Jamie Foxx and Qvenzhané Wallis got along on the set of ‘Annie’, the pair’s favorite Christmas gifts of all time and more, pick up the December issue of ESSENCE, on newsstands now.