Sunday, April 19, 2009

Anna Helene Paquin Biography

Anna Helene Paquin (born July 24, 1982) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-nominated, 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. Paquin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the daughter of Mary Paquin (née Brophy), an English teacher and native of Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a high school physical education teacher. Paquin has two older siblings: brother Andrew, born in 1977, and sister Katya, born in 1980.

•Brother: Andrew Paquin. Born c. 1977; attended Harvard
•Father: Brian Paquin. Canadian; separated from Paquin s mother in 1995
•Mother: Mary Paquin. New Zealander; separated from Paquin s father in 1995
•Sister: Katya Paquin. Born c. 1980
Significant Others
•Companion: Kieran Culkin. Rumored to have dated in 2006
•Companion: Stephen Moyer. Rumored to be dating; co-star together on the HBO series, True Blood
•Windward School, Los Angeles, CA

It was unclear which fact was more extraordinary about Anna Paquin – that she won an Academy Award at age 11 for her performance in “The Piano” (1993), or after her win, that she had no plans to continue acting. Paquin also shined in her first television role, playing barmaid and telepath Sookie Stackhouse on Alan Ball’s claimed “True Blood” (HBO, 2008- ), which only added to an already impressive career for the young actress. Born Anna Helene Paquin in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on July 24, 1982, Paquin’s parents were natives of New Zealand, and the family – which included her older siblings Andrew and Kate – relocated to that country when she was four.

The picture, which was envisioned as a modest art picture, was a box office success, and the 11-year-old Paquin was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1994. To the surprise of many, she won the award, which made her the second youngest actress to win an Academy Award, after Tatum O’Neal in “Paper Moon” (1973).

Paquin’s career might have stopped after this momentous occasion. She had relocated to Los Angeles, CA with her mother following her parents’ divorce, and was devoting more attention to her studies than to future film roles. Offers flooded in after the Oscar win, but Paquin steadfastly refused all until Franco Zefferelli offered her the chance to play a young Jane Eyre in his 1996 film version of the Charlotte Bronte novel. Paquin’s performance proved that her Oscar win was no fluke. She began to slowly build a film career based on interesting characters rather than high-profile projects. She played a young girl who helps raise a flock of Canadian geese in the endearing children’s’ drama “Fly Away Home” (1996) for director Carroll Ballard, and earned an impressive cameo in Stephen Spielberg’s “Amistad” (1997) as Isabella II, Queen of Spain. As Paquin grew into her teens, her roles matured with her; she was a seductive runaway “gifted” to a drug-addled Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey by Garry Shandling in the film version of David Rabe’s “Hurlybury” (1998), and played the daughter of Diane Lane’s mom on the verge in “A Walk on the Moon” (1999).

In 2000, Paquin graduated high school and stepped into the Hollywood blockbuster machine by taking the role of Rogue, a teenage mutant who can absorb the powers and even the life out of her fellow advanced humans, in the film version of the influential comic book, “X-Men” (2000). The film was a colossal success, earning Paquin nominations from the Saturn Awards, MTV Movie Awards, and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. Quality film projects outside the “X-Men franchise” proved somewhat elusive for the next few years. Paquin next co-starred with Edward Norton in Spike Lee’s “25th Hour” (2002) as a college student who provides a tempting distraction for professor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Paquin returned for the third “X-Men” installment in 2006, prior to making her debut as executive producer on “Blue State” (2006), a comedy filmed in her former home town of Winnipeg and starring Breckin Meyer as a Democrat who makes good on his promise to abandon the United States for Canada if George W. Bush is re-elected. Paquin, who co-produced the film with her brother Andrew, played Meyer’s companion for the road trip north. The independent feature was released in 2007, the same year Paquin took on the role of Elaine Goodale in “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” for HBO.

Paquin remained busy after her success with “Wounded Knee” with a string of edgy projects, including Kenneth Lonergan’s drama “Margaret” (2007), for which she was top-billed; the horror film “Trick ‘r Treat” (2008), and the HBO series “True Blood” (2008- ), in which she starred as author Charlaine Harris’ Gothic heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, whose supernatural pedigree made her a target by all manner of night creatures. Paquin found herself in Golden Globes contention once again when she was nominated for and won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama.

•1992 Beat out 5,000 girls for the part of Holly Hunter s daughter in Jane Campion s period love story The Piano
•1993 Became the second youngest Oscar winner of all time (to date) when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her big-screen debut in The Piano
•1994 Starred in a series of commercials for MCI
•1996 Played foster mother to a flock of geese in the family film Fly Away Home
•1997 Made cameo appearance as the Queen of Spain in the Steven Spielberg directed Amistad
•1997 US TV acting debut, played Frankie in the USA Network remake of The Member of the Wedding
•1998 Co-starred with Kevin Spacey and Sean Penn as a teen vamp in Hurlyburly
•1999 Appeared as a rebellious hippie chick in the 1960s drama A Walk on the Moon
•1999 Played Freddie Prinze Jr s younger sister in the frothy teen comedy She s All That
•2000 Appeared in Finding Forrester opposite F Murray Abraham and Sean Connery
•2000 Played Polexia Aphrodesia, a soulful groupie in Cameron Crowe s Almost Famous
•2000 Portrayed Rogue, a genetic mutant who can suck the life from any being, in the big screen version of the Marvel Comic adventure X-Men
•2001 Made NYC stage debut in The Glory of Living, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman
•2002 Cast in Spike Lee s drama feature The 25th Hour
•2002 London stage debut in This Is Our Youth
•2003 Cast as the sergeant s daughter in Buffalo Soldiers
•2003 Reprised role of Rogue in X-Men 2
•2005 Cast as a flirtatious female student in Noah Baumbach s The Squid and the Whale opposite Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney
•2006 Reprised the role of Rogue in the third installment of the X-Men series, X-Men: The Last Stand
•2007 Played an Army deserter in Blue State, a romantic comedy, she co-produced with her brother, Andrew Paquin
•2007 Portrayed schoolteacher Elaine Goodale in the HBO Films original movie, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee ; earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
•2008 Played telepathic waitress, Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO series, True Blood
•First acting experience as a skunk in a school ballet

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