Anna Paquin Biography

Anna Paquin photo

Born: July 24, 1982

ANNA PAQUIN

Date of Birth: July 24, 1982

With a well-developed vocabulary and gentle sense of humor, Anna Paquin has proven herself to be one of the most enchanting young actors working today.

Anna was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but her parents, both teachers, moved to New Zealand, and so at age six she traveled down under. Paquin admits that she never set out to be an actress. "I wanted to be Prime Minister of New Zealand," she recalls, with a laugh. "Or failing that, a lawyer. The courtroom type—that always seemed like it would be fun."

The youngest of three, Paquin made her stage debut in the coveted role of a skunk in a grade school play. "I leapt on stage and then skipped off," she recalls.

After attracting attention for her work in a TV commercial, Paquin was selected from 5,000 applicants to portray Holly Hunter's precocious daughter in director Jane Campion's dour period piece The Piano. The film was completed in 1992 when Paquin was nine. She kept busy for the next year or so in a series of American TV ads for a computer company, portraying an androgynous "young DaVinci" type.

In 1994, an amazed 11-year-old Paquin rushed onto the stage of the Academy Awards to accept the best supporting actress award for her performance in The Piano. "I was in a state of shock," she admits. "I thought I was going to sit in the audience, going clap, clap, clap with everyone else while some other actor went up to get the award. Instead, I was the one going up there, in front of hundreds of people." She became the second youngest person to win an Academy Award.

Shortly after the awards, she appeared in two more starring roles in the films Jane Eyre, playing young Jane and Fly Away Home, in which she played goose-loving Amy Alden.

In 1997, Anna made a cameo in Stephen Spielberg's Amistad (1997). While filming the movie in Montreal, Paquin made a sidetrip to Toronto to film five TV commercials for the telephone company of her old hometown Winnipeg. Paquin delivered the commercials in a variety of costumes in her Canadian accent rather than her New Zealand one.

After completing A Walk on the Moon, Paquin took a one year hiatus to consider her future. By 1998 her decision was made. During that year, she graduated to her first adult role in Hurly Burly. This adaptation of David Rabe's well-known play about the intersecting lives of several Hollywood players and wannabes included Paquin's first nude scene. But due to the US laws against minors in sex scenes, a double was sent in Paquin's place to complete the scene.

In 1999, she appeared in the romantic comedy She's All That. In the year 2000, she came out with three films, Almost Famous, Finding Forrester, and the sci-fi hit X-Men. Since then, she has reprised her role as X-Men's Rogue in the sequel X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).

In 2008, Anna was cast in the starring role of Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO series True Blood, which went on to become an enormous hit. On August 21, 2010, she married British actor Stephen Moyer, who plays her vampire boyfriend on the show.

In her spare time, Anna, who is a vegetarian, plays cello and piano and enjoys listening to alternative music.

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