Anna Paquin, a versatile performer, was born in 1982. She moved with her family to New Zealand when she was a child, where she landed her first film role at the age of 9. Her work in The Piano earned her an Academy Award. More movies followed, including Fly Away Home, X-Men and Margaret. Paquin also stars in the hit television drama True Blood.
The daughter of two teachers, Anna Paquin moved to New Zealand when she was very young. She grew up there with her sister, Katya, and her brother, Andrew. On a lark, Paquin decided to audition for a role in a new movie directed by Jane Campion. Only 9 years old at the time, she had no professional acting experience before she went to the open casting call.
Beating out hundreds of other young girls, Paquin won the part of Flora McGrath in The Piano. She earned strong reviews for her work on the historical drama. In the film, she played the daughter of a mute woman (Holly Hunter). The pair travel to New Zealand so that Hunter's character can marry a wealthy man (Sam Neill), but she falls for one of his workers (Harvey Keitel). Paquin won an Academy Award for the film at the tender age of 11.
Later Film Career
After her Oscar-winning turn in The Piano, Paquin stepped away from acting for a time. She chose to focus on her own life, instead of her career. After declining numerous roles, Paquin returned to film in 1996, first playing a young version of the title character in the Charlotte Brontë classic, Jane Eyre. That same year, she starred in the film Fly Away Home, playing a girl who adopts a flock of orphaned birds.
Paquin enjoyed big box-office success playing a comic book character in 2000's X-Men with Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. She portrayed Rogue, a young girl with a deadly power, who teams up with other so-called mutants to fight the evil Magneto (Ian McKellen). Paquin reprised her role in two sequels, X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
In 2007, Paquin scored her first Emmy Award nomination for her work on Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. She played a schoolteacher who worked with a Sioux doctor to help Native Americans on a reservation in the late 1800s. Moving to more modern and fantastical material, Paquin fought to be cast as Sookie Stackhouse in the supernatural drama True Blood. "I was the pale brunette from New Zealand, and I'm playing the Southern tanned blonde, essentially a Hooters waitress. It wasn't the most obvious casting choice, but I just really wanted it and I didn't stop until they said yes," she told Daily Variety.
Set a small Louisiana town, True Blood features an unusual mix of characters, including vampires and werewolves. Paquin's Sookie is sought after by vampires Bill and Eric (Stephen Moyers and Alexander Skarsgard) and the werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello). Paquin picked a Golden Globe Award in 2009 for her work on the show.
Paquin is married to her True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer. The couple tied the knot in 2010.
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