Getty Images/Frazer Harrison .
Whatever you think of the current season of True Blood, there’s no denying that the show would hardly be the same without the gap-toothed Sookie, pitch-perfectly portrayed by Anna Paquin. And while it sort of seems as though she came out of nowhere to land the lead on the hit HBO series, the almost-30-year-old has actually been steadily working as an actress since she was just 11.
Anna was born in Canada in 1982 — her father was Canadian, but her mother was a native of New Zealand. She has two older siblings. When Anna was just 4-years-old, her family relocated to New Zealand. Anna played several musical instruments as a small child, and she excelled in dance, gymnastics, and downhill skiing as well. However, she had no outward ambitious towards the silver screen or the stage. .
In 1991, Anna’s sister decided to respond to an open casting call for a key role in the film The Piano, which was shooting in New Zealand. Anna tagged along, and she so impressed the director that she won the role, even though she had no prior experience as an actress. .
. The Piano released in theaters in 1993 to widespread critical acclaim. On her first acting job ever, Anna won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was just 11-years-old at the time, which made her the youngest Oscar winner in history after Tatum O’Neal. .
Anna’s success, and the success of the film as a whole, took Anna and her family by complete surprise. They hadn’t planned to continue Anna on the acting path, but the William Morris Agency made a hard push to sign her, and the family eventually relented. Still, Anna turned down the bulk of the roles offered to her, instead opting to take on just a few hand-picked roles in films such as Jane Eyre and Fly Away Home. . . .
As a teenager, Anna continued to work sporadically in films such as Amistad, She’s All That, and Almost Famous. And she was just that — almost famous — she hadn’t quite made it to the A-list (as an adult) as of yet. .
That all changed in 2000, when the child star successfully transitioned herself into a legit acting career by taking on the role of Rogue in the X-Men franchise. While this made her famous, it was the casting of Paquin as Sookie in the HBO series True Blood that made her uber-famous, and on the A-list she has remained ever since. .
How long have you been a fan of Anna’s? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!