New stuff

All About Anna







Other Stuff



Anna Paquin

Lawrence O'Toole

To land the role of holly Hunter's obstimate young daughter in The Piano, Anna Paquin had to beat out some 5,000 girls in open auditions. Her previous acting experience? She once played a skunk in a school ballet. "Anna is out third child," says her father, Brian, a physical education teacher in New Zealand, where the movie was shot. "Up until the time she made The Piano, she hadn't shown any flair in any particular direction. She was just chugging along as No.3." Her older brother excellent as a cellist and a ballet dancer, while her older sister, a top gymnast, plays the violin and piano. "Anna," says Brian Paquin, "was just a nice, well-balanced kid."

She still is, and her farther is determined to keep her that way--especially now that the 11-year-old is one of five actresses under the age of 12 ever nominated for an Oscar. Anna first hear about the auditions from a friend of her sister's. When she asked her father if she could try out, he said, "Here's the telephone. If you're interested, make the call." And off she went. What helped at first was her resemblance to Hunter. Then she made a video of her character's speech in which she tells a whopper about her father--and the filmmakers were sold. Those whoppers in The Piano are told wit an imagination and guile that's startling for someone her age. "We had no idea she could do that," Brian said. She's my child, but she really was brilliant." As he sees it, the problem now is to make the right choices. "We've urned down things already. It's time to put up our feet and think. Meanwhile, Anna will go back to school and become a normal kid again." A new friend of the Paquins' recently offered a piece of advice if they decide to let Anna continue her acting career. "Be chossy," Hunter told them."

Entertainment Weekly special issue, March 29, 1994