Denzel Washington and Viola Davis may have the biggest Oscar buzz, but there is simply no Fences star cuter than the drama’s precocious young star Saniyya Sidney. For evidence, we point you to our interview with the 10-year-old from the movie’s recent Los Angeles press day (watch it above).
Sidney, who has also appeared in Roots and American Horror Story, recalled her reaction to first hearing about the film, a family drama set in 1950s Pittsburgh and based on the Tony Award-winning play by August Wilson. Her manager explained to her that Washington, who also directs, would star.
“I was like, ‘Oh, Malcolm X guy!’ Sidney said, referring to Washington’s Oscar-nominated 1992 biopic directed by Spike Lee. ”
The young actress made an audition tape, which landed her a meeting with the one-and-only Washington in Pittsburgh. “I was like, ‘Yay!’ I was so excited. I had butterflies, because I was like, ‘I’m going to meet Denzel Washington! I was just panting. Like, ‘Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!’ ”
Sidney, obviously, got the gig, and it’s not her only appearance in an award-nominated film this year. She also plays Taraji P. Henson’s daughter in Hidden Figures.
So, yes, in addition to giving what is arguably the most adorable interview this awards season, she is also the link between Hidden Figures and Fences, which unfortunately were conflated by both red carpet reporter Jenna Bush and presenter Michael Keaton at this past Sunday’s Globes awards, with both referring to Hidden Figures as “Hidden Fences.”