Outstandingly proved that she did not score a mere fluke in the beginning of her acting career through her natural yet extraordinary flair and charm, Anna Helene Paquin is no doubt one the most remarkable young talents Hollywood ever has. The youngest child of Brian and Mary Paquin who both are educators, Anna was born on July 24, 1982 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada but was mainly raised in New Zealand where she later met the fate that would change her ordinary life ever since. It began when her sister, Katya, found an ad in local newspaper posted announcing an open casting call for the role of Flora McGrath in Jane Campion's project of "The Piano" which then was released in 1993. Wanted to try her hand at it, Katya subsequently joined the audition with Anna tagged along behind for a mere casual intention as she had nothing better to do at that time.
Upon seeing Anna, Jane Campion at first did not think that the little girl fitted the role due to her small figure and shyness, but the director immediately changed her mind by the time she spoke about Ada McGrath, Flora's mute mother. "I almost fell off my chair when she began." Campion recalled. "She told this long, incredible passionate story about how Ada lost her voice, and you totally believed her. It is rare to find someone so young with such an instinct for performance." Sensed that Anna was really the one she had been looking for, Campion without slightest doubt gave the part to the calm brunette despite her lacked experience in acting and her decision was delightfully proven right as the girl brilliantly managed to display such a convincing portrayal that stunned both the audience and critics alike when the picture hit the theaters in November 1993.
In the continuation of the buzz Anna had created, a handful of prestigious award nominations started flowing toward her accordingly, notably those of Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture at Golden Globe Awards and Best Supporting Actress at Academy Awards in 1994. Out of the expectation that it would be Winona Ryder who might win at the latter event, the 11-year-old girl was gloriously named the winner that night, much to her own disbelief. "I was in a state of shock," she said, tracing back the unforgettable moment. "I thought I was going to sit in the audience, going clap, clap, clap with everyone else while some other actor went up to get the award. Instead, I was the one going up there, in front of hundreds of people."
Becoming the second youngest actress ever to receive such accolade, Anna unmistakably was propelled to widespread attention afterwards yet she wisely chose to focus more on her education and it was not until the year 1996 that public could again see her on screen, this time in two film features of "Jane Eyre" and "Fly Away Home" alongside Jeff Daniels also Dana Delany. Finally decided to settle in Los Angeles during her mid-teens, the young star kept moving on her path in Hollywood, making transition to teenage actress through three fine enactments in "Hurlyburly" (1998), "A Walk on the Moon" (1999), and "She's All That" (1999). Though busily involved in those movie productions, she pleasingly maintained her commitment in education and finished her study at famed Windward School to then enroll in Columbia University by the turn of the third millennium.
Always searches any possibility to play different roles, Anna enthusiastically crossed to action sci-fi genre when Bryan Singer billed her as Rogue in his blockbuster effort of "X-Men" (2000) also starred by Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Famke Janssen among others. With this star-studded cast, fantastic visual effect, plus faithful adaptation of its original graphic novels, it was not surprising to see the flick soared to be one of the biggest grossing movies of that year, automatically rising her profile couple notches higher for sure. Later reprised the role in "X-Men 2" (2003) and "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), she smoothly added another acclaim in her resume by joining the cast of critically lauded "The Squid and the Whale" (2005) in between.
The success Anna had attained on the big screen apparently did not prevent her to shift into small screen production for she afterwards appeared in HBO's Made-for-TV movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." An adaptation of Dee Brown's bestselling book, the feature wonderfully turned out to land her one more prestigious recognition in her career, a nomination for Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie at Emmy Awards held in the same year. Returning back to film industry, the beauty next could be seen in handfuls of titles set for 2008 releases, including horror fare "Trick 'r Treat", dramatic flick Margaret", and Limor Diamant-directed sci-fi "Metamorphosis" alongside Stephen Rea and Daniel Bruhl.