Anna Helene Paquin is a Canadian-born New Zealand actress. Her breakthrough performance was in the New Zealand film The Piano, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1994, making her the second youngest winner in history at the age of 11.
Even if it might not be Anna Paquin's style to vamp it up, she still has enough beauty and intelligence to make her eminently attractive. There's a vulnerability to her that only adds to her allure; at the same time, though, Anna Paquin has the emotional grounding that would make her an ideal companion.
Anna Paquin's emergent sexuality has been put to good use in her more recent roles. Her portrayal of a vampire in the TV show True Blood and playing an enticing-yet-vulnerable teen in Spike Lee's 25th Hour are two examples, but perhaps one of her sexier characters was Rogue, one of the X-Men who discovers she has superpowers when she receives her first kiss.
Acclaim as a child actress
It was in New Zealand in 1991 that Paquin became an actress by chance. Director Jane Campion was looking for a little girl to play a key role in The Piano, set to film in New Zealand, and a newspaper advertisement was run announcing an open audition. Paquin's sister read the ad and went to try out with a friend; Paquin herself tagged along because she had nothing better to do. When Campion met Paquin—whose only acting experience had been as a skunk in a school play—she was very impressed with the nine-year-old's performance of the monologue about Flora's father, and she was chosen from among the 5000 candidates.
Paquin as Flora, telling the story about her father in The Piano
When The Piano was released in 1993 it was lauded by critics, won prizes at a number of film festivals, and eventually became a popular movie among a wide audience. Paquin's debut performance in the film earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of eleven, making her the second-youngest Oscar winner in history after Tatum O'Neal. The Piano was made as a small independent movie and wasn't intended to be widely known, and Paquin and her family didn't plan to continue in the acting circles. However, she was invited to the William Morris Agency, and she kept receiving offers for new roles. She systematically refused them, but she did appear in three commercials for the phone company MCI (now Verizon). She also appeared as a voice in an audio book entitled The Magnificent Nose in 1994.
In 1996, she appeared in two movies. The first role was as young Jane in Jane Eyre. The other was a lead part in Fly Away Home playing a young girl who, after her mother dies, moves in with her father and finds solace in taking care of orphaned goslings.
As a teenager, she had roles in films including A Walk on the Moon, The Member of the Wedding, Amistad, Hurlyburly and She's All That.
X-Men and beyond
Paquin returned to worldwide prominence with her role as Rogue in the blockbuster X-Men movie in 2000 its sequel X2 in 2003, and its third installment X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006.
In the summer of 2006, she completed filming Blue State. She was the executive-producer of the film, the film having been made by Paquin Films, a production company formed by both her and her brother, Andrew Paquin. In November 2006, she completed Margaret. This film is now scheduled for release in 2009, according to imdb.com.
In 2007, Paquin received an Emmy Award nomination for Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie for her role as Elaine Goodale in HBO's made-for-TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, based on Dee Brown's bestseller. She also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations in similar categories.
In 2008, Paquin appeared as Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO series True Blood, her first role in a TV series. The show is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Paquin won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series for her role in the show, and also won a Satellite Award in a similar category. The second season of the show began airing on June 14, 2009.
In 2009, Paquin played Irena Sendler, a Polish woman hailed as a heroine of the Holocaust, in The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, a CBS TV film biopic based on the book Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story, by Anna Mieszkowska. The film was made in Latvia, and was a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation for the network
Paquin is also an award-winning stage actress, having made her stage debut in 2001 in a production of The Glory of Living at the MCC Theater. She won a 2001-2002 Theater World Award for her performance. She has since appeared in a number of other plays, but has only once appeared in a play outside of the USA, when she appeared on the West End stage in London in a production of This is Our Youth in 2002.
Anna was ranked #50 on Maxim magazine's 50 hottest 100 celebrities of 2008.
When she was younger, she wanted to be the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
- 1993 - LAFCA Award - Best Supporting Actress for The Piano
- 1994 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress for The Piano
- 2001 - Online Film Critics Society Awards - Best Ensemble Cast Performance for Almost Famous
- 2005 - Gotham Awards - Best Ensemble Cast for The Squid and the Whale
- 2008 - Satellite Award - Best Actress in a Series, Drama for True Blood
- 2009 - Golden Globe Award - Best Actress in a Television Drama Series for True Blood
- The Glory of Living; MCC Theater, New York, 2001 - Lisa (Won Theatre World Award (Outstanding Actress) in 2002 for the role)
- This is Our Youth; Garrick Theatre, London, 2002 - Jessica Goldman (Nominated for Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Actress) for the role)
- Manuscript (Reading); Falmouth Academy, New York, 2003 - Elizabeth Hawkins
- Drug Buddy (Reading); Manhattan Theater Club, 2003 - Wendy
- Roulette; Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, 2004 - Jenny
- The Distance From Here; MCC Theater, New York, 2004 - Shari (Won Drama Desk Award (Outstanding Cast Ensemble) in 2004)
- The 24 Hour Plays, South Of The Border; MCC Theater, 2004 - Maylene
- After Ashley; Vineyard Theatre, New York, 2005 - Julie Bell
- Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead; (Reading); Westside Theatre, New York, 2005 - Marcy
- The 24 Hour Plays, The Blizzard; MCC Theater, 2006 - Jenny
"I don't know when acting came to be more about awards than about the work. Judging who's better than the other person shouldn't be part of why we're doing this job. It should be about entertaining people. "
"I'm probably one of the only actresses who has no waitressing experience... I've never had a non-acting job, because I've pretty much acted full time since I was 9."
"I'd really like to get to do some fighting, some martial arts training, because I think that would be really fun... I do gymnastics and ballet, and I'm very, very into the physically acrobatic end of sport."
"None of the characters I've played are really like me. That would be boring. It wouldn't be acting. "
"I just do what feels right. I think the great thing about getting to do what I do is that you can try out being a different person without having to screw up your life to do it."
"Honestly, if you're trying to get past a bouncer, distract them with how cute your puppy is and they won't ask any questions."
- Anna Paquin, .
on joining the ranks of Hollywood stars who've gone blonde
I feel fabulous... When I wake up in the morning and I haven't had my coffee and I stumble downstairs, I'm like, 'Oh, s---' I completely forget that I've done this. And I have a few moments where I'm, like, 'Who's that?'