Oscar Actors: Paquin, Anna–Background, Career, Awards, Cumulative Advantage

Anna Hélène Paquin (born July 24, 1982), the New Zealand-Canadian actress, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and brought up in Wellington, New Zealand, before moving to Los Angeles during her youth.

She completed a year at Columbia University, before leaving to focus on her acting career. As a child, she played the role of Flora McGrath in Jane Campion’s romantic drama film The Piano (1993), despite having had little acting experience. For her performance, she garnered critical acclaim and received the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the age of 11, making her the second-youngest winner in Oscar history.

Paquin was a successful child actress, receiving multiple Young Artist Award nominations for her roles in Fly Away Home (1996), The Member of the Wedding (1997), and A Walk on the Moon (1999), and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for appearing in Cameron Crowe’s comedy-drama film Almost Famous (2000).

She played mutant superheroine Rogue in multiple films of the X-Men franchise (2000–2014) and was nominated for a Saturn Award for her performance in the first installment.

Her other film credits include Jane Eyre (1996), Amistad (1997), 25th Hour (2002), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Margaret (2011), The Good Dinosaur (2015), and The Irishman (2019).

Paquin played the lead role of Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO vampire drama television series True Blood (2008–2014). For her performance in the series, Paquin won the Golden Globe Award, and was nominated for an additional Golden Globe Award in 2010, as well as three Saturn Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2010.

Cumulative Advantage

Among other accolades, Paquin has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her work on the 2007 TV film “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and a Golden Globe Award for her work on the 2009 TV film “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.”

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 from Canada. Paquin has two older siblings: Andrew (born 1977), a director, and Katya (born 1980),[8][9] whose partner is the Green Party of New Zealand’s former co-leader Russel Norman.[10] Paquin is of Dutch, French and Irish descent.[11] Paquin’s family moved to New Zealand when she was four. Her musical childhood hobbies in New Zealand included playing the viola, cello and piano. She also participated in gymnastics, ballet, swimming and downhill skiing, though she did not have any hobbies related to acting.[12][13]
While in New Zealand, Paquin attended Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School in Lower Hutt until she was 9 years old,[14] then Hutt Intermediate School (1994–95). Having begun her secondary education in Wellington at Wellington Girls’ College, she completed her high school diploma at Windward School in Los Angeles, after moving to the U.S. with her mother following her parents’ divorce (1995).[15] She graduated from Windward School in June 2000 and completed the school’s Community Service requirement by working in a soup kitchen and at a Special Education Centre. She studied at Columbia University for one year but dropped out to continue her acting career.
Career[edit source]

Director Jane Campion was looking for a little girl to play a main role in The Piano, set to film in New Zealand, and a newspaper ad announced an open audition. Paquin’s sister read the ad and went to try out with a friend; this inspired Paquin to audition. When Campion met Paquin—whose only acting experience had been as a skunk in a school play—she was very impressed with the nine-year-old’s performance of the monologue about Flora’s father, and she was chosen from among the 5000 candidates.

When The Piano was released in 1993 it was lauded by critics, won prizes at film festivals, and eventually became a popular film among a wide audience. Paquin’s debut performance in the film earned her the 1993 Supporting Actress Oscar at the age of 11, making her the second-youngest Oscar winner in history, behind Tatum O’Neal.

The Piano was made as an indie and wasn’t expected to be widely known, and Paquin and her family did not plan to continue to pursue acting. However, she was invited to the William Morris Agency, and she kept receiving offers for new roles. She rejected them, but she did appear in three commercials for the phone company MCI in 1994.

She later made a series of TV commercials for Manitoba Telecom Systems in her birth city of Winnipeg. She also appeared as a voice in audiobook entitled The Magnificent Nose in 1994.