Anna Paquin’s rise to fame would be sudden, but it would be years of graft and smart career decisions that would solidify her as a genuine Hollywood name. Born in Winnipeg, Canada to parents of Canadian and New Zealand heritage, Paquin would be the youngest of three children alongside her siblings Katya and Andrew.
At only four years of age, the Paquin family moved to New Zealand to start a new chapter. It was there where the actor would form her career. Rather it was by chance than design. Filmmaker Jane Campion put out an open audition for the role of a young girl for an upcoming title and impressed those in attendance at the age of nine.
To say that Anna Paquin did not have to wait long to make worldwide headlines is an understatement. It would be her debut role in the 1993 drama The Piano filmed in New Zealand that transformed her world, taking home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the tender age of 11.
That sudden rise to fame would give her an opportunity to branch out and make acting a real career path in her teenage years. Movies like She’s All That, Almost Famous, Amistad and A Walk on the Moon allowed Paquin to shine, even if they were not leading roles.
In the world of motion pictures, Anna Paquin would make a major splash with her role as superhero Rogue in the Marvel title X-Men in 2000. Starring alongside the likes of Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart, the Kiwi would reprise her role for sequels X2 in 2003, X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006 and X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.
The world of theater would keep the actor grounded while honing her craft with fellow professionals. Productions like Manuscript, Roulette and After Ashley would be part of an extended 5-year run on the stage.
Anna Paquin is arguably most notable for her extended run as Sookie Stackhouse for the entire 80-episode run of the fantasy horror drama True Blood. The HBO program would feature the likes of Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Chris Bauer and Jim Patrick, but it would be fellow co-star Stephen Moyer where a real connection was made. His character Bill Compton would be the main love interest during the show as the pair would be dating in real life since filming on the pilot began in 2007. They couple would tie the knot in 2010 where Paquin gave birth to twins just two years later.
The small screen would open new opportunities for Anna Paquin who could demonstrate that she was more than a supporting presence for motion pictures. Starring roles in The Affair and Flack have demonstrated her prowess alongside Dominic West, Joshua Jackson, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, Sophie Okonedo, Lydia Wilson and many more.
It would be her portrayal of Peggy Sheeran in the 2019 Netflix crime drama The Irishman that confirmed her place among the elite performers of her field. Working with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel for the Martin Scorsese picture about New York gangster Jimmy Hoffa, the title would take five nominations at the Academy Awards.
Alongside her prestigious Academy Award in 1993, Anna Paquin would go on to be nominated for many other awards. Among her victories would include A Critic’s Choice Award, a Golden Globe and a Satellite Award to name but a few.
The actor would make some major headlines in 2019 by criticising the sexist nature of the Hollywood industry, arguing that she has had to work harder for her success than her male counterparts.
She is also a strong supporter of the LGBT movement alongside advocate Cyndi Lauper, making an announcement that she is bisexual in 2010.