95 | Anna Paquin - Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

95 | Anna Paquin - Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

Greatest Kiwi Of All Time: No. 95 - Anna Paquin (New entry)

1993, the Academy Awards, Hollywood, California.  Sitting among such acting royalty as Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep is a kiwi, 11-year-old Anna Paquin.  Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Paquin is up against Holly Hunter, Winona Ryder, Rosie Perez and Emma Thompson.  Gene Hackman announces the winner to a surprised audience.

She would be the second-youngest winner in Oscar history.

Anna Paquin was born in Canada to teacher parents Mary, a kiwi and Brian Paquin.  She moved to New Zealand when she was four years old.  At the age of nine, director Jane Campion was looking for a little girl to play the role of Flora in her upcoming movie, The Piano.  Paquin, whose only other acting experience was playing a skunk in a school play, beat out 5000 others for the role.  

Unexpectedly, The Piano was a huge success, catapulting director Campion and the cast into fame.  Lauded by critics, the job offers started coming in for ten-year-old Paquin.  

Following her Oscar win, Paquin would be cast in Jane Eyre, Fly Away Home, A Walk On The Moon and other 90’s classics like Almost Famous.  In the year 2000, now 18, she would appear in X-Men as mutant superhero Rogue, a role she would return to in the sequel and third instalment of the franchise in 2006.

Then, in 2008, Paquin was cast as waitress Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO series True Blood.  The show would be a massive hit and Paquin would once again be lauded.  It would last for seven series, with real life colliding with fantasy when Paquin married co-star Stephen Moyer.

In 2010, Paquin would come out as a bisexual, appearing in public service announcements supporting LGBT equality.

In 2019, Paquin appeared in Martin Scorsese's critically-acclaimed drama, The Irishman

Anna Paquin.  At age nine she was at the top of her game, and ever since she’s given us even more to be proud of.  One of Today FM’s Greatest Kiwis of All Time.