Anna Paquin Interviewed by the Telegraph UK

October 6, 2009 by  

anna-paquin-beautyHer Academy Award; her dogs; her wedding–these are just a few of the things Anna Paquin discussed in a thoughtful, revealing interview with the Telegraph UK.

Anna grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, with an older brother and sister.  It was with her sister, Katya, that she went to Jane Campion’s open audition for The Piano. At age 11, she won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Holly Hunter’s daughter, Flora.

“Maybe I’m misjudging people, but I feel like a lot of people still have an image of me in a bonnet at nine years old.”

Since then, her film career has been planned very carefully. Her parents would allow her to make one movie per year, which they picked based on artistic merit. When she turned 16, she moved to Los Angeles because she was working there so much already. That might seem young to become immersed in the film industry, but Anna seems like she has always been mature for her age, calling herself “the most serious 15-year old ever.” The downside, however, was the loneliness, as working so much cut her off from friends back home. Acting was clearly something she had a talent for and wanted to continue doing, but it caused her to miss out on the fun and relationships of adolescent life.

Her career has been balanced with blockbusters like the X-Men trilogy, and critically acclaimed movies like 25th Hour and The Squid and the Whale. She’s done theatre, having lived in New York for several years, and even attended Columbia University for a short time.

After being cast as Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood, she moved out to Venice Beach, CA. For the British audience that will now have the opportunity to watch the show on Channel 4, Anna acknowledges that it’s “a really full-on sexy show” with lots of kinky sex, with humans and with vampires (and many more combinations, too!). Beyond all the fantasy stuff, Anna sees True Blood as being fundamentally about relationships.

Sookie likes Bill because he’s the first person she hasn’t been able to listen in on the thoughts of, so it’s quiet. You can read into that on deeper levels about intimacy and relationships and finding that person you can be yourself with. They’re both outsiders. So when this potentially scary creature walks into her path all she’s thinking it, ‘I want to go talk to him. I want to see what he’s like!’ It is kind of disturbing, but so is putting yourself out there as far as relationships or friendships go. It is scary and sometimes your are taking a risk. If you aren’t prepared to do that, you’re going to have very safe options in your life, but they won’t be the most exciting ones.”

It would appear there is some parallelism to her personal life. Even though her work load is still intense, often with 18-hour days, the difference is that life now includes Stephen Moyer, her fiance and costar. Of working with him, Anna simply grins, “I love it.”

So what’s Stephen like?

“Obviously he’s a complete monster. That’s an odd question. He’s lovely. He’s very funny. I’m definitely not on any level attracted to people who don’t have a good sense of humor. That’s how you get through the ups and the downs.”

The chemistry between them happened immediately.

“The dynamic between Bill and Sookie being what it is, the fascination and attraction made it kind of hard to pinpoint where it ceased to be fiction, because that’s how we’ve always been around each other. But there was no massive revelation moment of, ‘Wow, I fancy you.’ “

The big adjustment has been how overwhelming the gossip media has attached itself to their relationship. The morning after Anna and Stephen’s engagement was announced, the paparazzi swarmed on her and her dogs, Splash and Banjo.

“I’d barely changed out of my pajamas and it was eight in the morning and about 40 photographers jumped out of the hedge. It was sort of creepy. I was like, ‘You guys are going to get so bored. I ride my bike to my pilates class. I walk my dogs. I ride my bike to meet friends for coffee. I walk my dogs.’ I’d neither showered nor brushed my hair the morning they leaped out of the bushes, not that I’m massively into hair-brushing, anyway. Neither of us are used to it, so it’s a bit odd.”

As for the wedding itself, Anna insists that no plans have been made. They are just going about it in a very organic way.

“We’re happy and things are good and we’re not on any particular schedule and it’ll happen when we have time. The scheduling–my family’s all in New Zealand, his family’s all here [in London]. I don’t even know. Not right now. It’s more about being family than becoming Bridezilla overnight and wearing some big meringue wedding dress. That would scare the shit out of me.”

It is wonderful to read Anna’s responses and see how she has found happiness. She hasn’t had to sacrifice her work as an actress, but now her work isn’t all there is. She can enjoy life–with Stephen, his kids, their dogs, and friends–and look forward to their marriage and life together as a family.


(Photo credit: