BiographyAnna Helene Paquin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on July 24, 1982. Both of Anna Paquin's parents are educators; her Canadian father, Brian, is a phys-ed teacher, while her New Zealand-born mother, Mary, teaches English. Anna Paquin has two older siblings: her brother Andrew, born in 1977, and sister her Katya, born in 1980. When Anna was 4 years old, the Paquins moved to New Zealand, although they still returned regularly to visit the Canadian side of the family.
It was in New Zealand in the early 1990s that Anna Paquin became an actress by a remarkable fluke. 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 ad was run announcing an open audition. Anna Paquin's sister read the ad and went to try out with a friend; Anna tagged along because she had nothing better to do. When Jane Campion met Anna Paquin, whose only acting experience had been as a skunk in a school play, she was blown away. The director later recalled: "It is rare to find someone so young with such an instinct for performance."
anna paquin in the pianoAnna Paquin was cast to play the role of Flora McGrath, the young daughter of a Scottish mail-order bride -- played by Holly Hunter -- who was sent to New Zealand to be married. Then 10-year-old Anna had the most dialogue in the film since her character served as her mute mother's interpreter. Ironically, the film's violence and nudity earned it an R rating, so Anna Paquin couldn't even watch it in its entirety when it was released.
However, the critics certainly watched the whole thing and were bowled over by Anna Paquin's fiercely nuanced performance. The Film Critics Circle of Australia named her Best Supporting Actress, as did the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. However, the greatest acclaim came when Anna Paquin was awarded the 1993 Best Supporting Actress Oscar, becoming the second-youngest person to win an Academy Award (Anna was only a few months older than the record-holder, Tatum O'Neal, had been when she won).
anna paquin in x-menIn 1995, Anna Paquin's parents divorced and Anna moved in with her mother. She continued acting while attending an all-girls school in New Zealand, starring in the uplifting Fly Away Home (1996) and appearing as the young Jane in Jane Eyre (1996). Before long, Anna Paquin moved to Los Angeles to pursue a more active career.
During her teen years, she had notable roles in such films as Amistad (1997), Hurlyburly (1998), A Walk on the Moon (1999), All the Rage (1999), Almost Famous (2000), and Finding Forrester (2000). In the summer of 2000, she played Rogue in the much-anticipated X-Men movie, and would later appear in its 2003 and 2006 sequels.
Anna Paquin toned down her burgeoning film career in the fall of 2000 when she began attending Columbia University, majoring in English. During her school days, Anna Paquin's film output slowed: She appeared only in Buffalo Soldiers (2001), 25th Hour (2002) and X-Men 2 (2003). However, she branched out into theater, performing onstage in The Glory of Living, This is Our Youth, and Roulette.
In 2004, Anna Paquin shared a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in the play The Distance From Here, and she was also a presenter at the Tony Awards. In the following years, Anna Paquin returned to film in The Squid and the Whale (2005), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and Blue State (2007).
anna paquin in true bloodAfter a role in the TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007), Anna Paquin earned herself a role on the television show True Blood.
Her upcoming film projects include '08's Trick 'r Treat, costarring Brian Cox and Leslie Bibb, and Metamorphosis. Her '09 flicks include Margaret, and Anna Paquin will work alongside the likes of Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Mark Ruffalo, and Olivia Thirlby.
anna paquin wins golden globeAt the 2009 Golden Globes, Anna Paquin took home the award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama for her work on True Blood. She also made AM's Top 99 Most Desirable Women, coming in at No. 71.