Anna Hélène Paquin is a New Zealandian actress. Born born on 24 July 1982 at Winnipeg,Manitoba, in Canada and raised in Wellington,The young girl amazed film critics and viewers with her talent in the drama The Piano at the age of 10. Paquin made her acting debut portraying Flora McGrath in the romantic drama film The Piano (1993), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 11, making her the second-youngest winner in Oscar history. As a child actress, she received 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 a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for appearing in Cameron Crowe’s comedy-drama film Almost Famous (2000). She also appeared in the films Jane Eyre (1996) and Amistad (1997).
At 11, Anna Paquin won the most prestigious Oscar Award. The actress has shown her skills not only on the screen but also on the theater stage, although she does not have special education.
Childhood and youth
Anna Paquin was born on July 24, 1982, in Canada, in the city of Winnipeg, in the family of school teachers. Her mother, Mary (née Brophy), a New Zealander from Wellington, worked as an English teacher, and her Canadian father, Brian Paquin, worked as a physical education teacher.
She is the youngest of three children, with two siblings: Andrew, a filmmaker, and Katya, whose partner is the Green Party of New Zealand’s former co-leader, Russel Norman. All her maternal great-grandparents emigrated from Ireland because of the Great Famine. Her father is of Dutch and French descent.The family moved to Wellingtonwhen she was four.
The parents raised three children, and the future actress was the youngest daughter. The girl was fond of music and sports in youth. Anna did not plan to become an actress, and she did not dream about the studio light boards and television cameras. At school, the girl learned to play the viola, cello, and piano.
She was also interested in different kinds of sports. Anna participated in gymnastics, swimming, downhill skiing, etc. Besides gymnastics, flexibility was useful in ballet, which also fascinated the schoolgirl.
In 1995, Paquin’s parents divorced, and the young New Zealander moved with her mother to Los Angeles, where she graduated from high school. After graduation in 2000, the girl studied at Columbia University for one year. By that time, the student had already been acting in cinema, and she was short of time for studying. Anna chose the career of an actress, and since she has been on a leave of absence.
Paquin had no acting experience, besides performances on the school stage, where she took part in several plays.
The role of Flora had a long text because according to the plot, the heroine served as an interpreter of a mute mother. Besides, the girl had to speak with a Scottish accent. Despite the difficulties, Anna brilliantly coped with the task. Critics and film viewers warmly received the movie. Anna won the Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Such a reward was a real surprise for the eleven-year-old girl. When Paquin went on the stage at the ceremony, she was so confused that could give an acceptance speech only after a 20-second pause.
It is no wonder that such a breakthrough at the beginning of her career made her famous and the girl received thousands of proposals for shooting. However, the schoolgirl did not plan to continue to pursue acting and often refused them. But the girl starred in three commercials and signed a contract with the prestigious William Morris Agency.
Next time she played in the movie in 1996, when the schoolgirl appeared in the role of young Jane Eyre in the screen adaptation of Charlotte Brontë‘s novel. The same year she starred in the drama Fly Away Home, where the actress played a little orphan girl, who moved in with her father.
Before graduation, Anna also participated in several films and voiced the main character in the full-length animated adventure film Laputa: Castle in the Sky by Disney Studio. After graduation, the career of the actress continued to flourish. She debuted on the theater stage. Critics and experts appreciated the girl’s talent, and she received a lot of theater nominations and awards.
A significant point in her career was the participation in the superhero films about X-Men. Anna worked on the same set with Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, playing the Marvel comics character of the mutant Rogue.
She was busy filming in the works Blue State, Margaret, Trick ’r Treat, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Anna was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work on the last film.
While in New Zealand, Paquin attended Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School and Hutt Intermediate School, both in Lower Hutt. Her parents divorced when she was 12. She received her secondary education at Wellington Girls’ College. After moving to the U.S. when she was 16 she attended Windward School in Los Angeles, from which she graduated in 2000. She studied at Columbia College for one year, where she lived in Carman Hall, but dropped out to continue her acting career.
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 advertisement was run announcing 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 a number of film festivals, and eventually became a popular film among a wide audience. Paquin’s debut performance in the film earned her the 1993 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 11, making her the second-youngest Oscar winner in history, behind Tatum O’Neal.
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. In 1996, she appeared in two films. The first role was as young Jane in Jane Eyre. The other was a lead part in Fly Away Home playing a young girl who, after her mother dies, moves in with her father and finds solace in taking care of orphaned goslings. As a teenager, she had roles in other films, including A Walk on the Moon, Finding Forrester, Amistad, Hurlyburly, She’s All That and Almost Famous as well as the English dub of Castle in the Sky.