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Anna's Mystery Man

Sandra Roberts
Daily Variety Senior Columnist

Geese weren't the only things getting into a flap at the Canadian premiere of Kiwi filmstar Anna Paquin's third movie, Fly Away Home.

Not only did 14-year-old paparazzi-shy Anna become a little agitated by the presence of a certain photographer, but her caring mother is certain to be asking questions about a young mystery man apparently wooing the star.

Photographer Louie deFillipis says he noticed Anna and the young man embracing each other ... until everyone started looking.

After the premiere, says Louie, the couple clambered into a waiting limo and sat as far apart as possible as if to put gossips off the scent of romance.

Anna had a startled look on her face, according to the photographer. He described her companion as hardly the clean-cut type, with stubble and long hair in a ponytail.

In Fly Away Home, Anna teaches a flock of orphaned geese to migrate south from Canada by following her flight in an ultra-light aircraft. But at the screening she clipped Louie's wings by having him removed after realising he wasn't an official photographer.

Louie says assertive Anna, sporting a new-look hairstyle, must have recognised him from a television gossip show earlier that day, before she started making inquiries with film officials.

"She seemed a bit paranoid and followed co-star Jeff Daniels inside," says Louie. "Then she spoke to Columbia representatives and had me moved on. She didn't look very happy with me.

"I moved on as per their request, but they weren't game to man-handle me," says Louie, who stands 188cm tall and is a hefty 101kg.

He says he has followed Anna's career with interest, but admits to feeling a little miffed that the young Oscar-winner awarded him the boot.

Fly Away Home will have its gala opening in New Zealand on January 2, and officials are hoping Anna will attend. Louie certainly won't be there.

(NOTE: The NZWD got severely embarrassed when Anna's family finally told who her 'mystery man' was... it was her old brother, Andrew. As a result, the NZWD published another story the next week, apologizing for the mistake, and it is rumoured that they sent a gift to Anna to make up for it. - Kerry Du Pont)

New Zealand Woman's Day, September 23, 1996