In 2009, we interviewed Anna Paquin as she embarked on the second season of hit series True Blood. Now the 35-year-old actress plays an unconventional police detective in the police drama, Bellevue, a role she evidently relishes. The Kiwi star talks to MiNDFOOD about life since True Blood, motherhood, and the joys of working with naked men!
What do you like about your latest character, Detective Annie Ryder?
I like that she doesn’t play within the traditional rules or necessarily behave appropriately but she is incredibly effective and willing to take risks that a lot of other cops won’t take. It’s the bane of existence but at the same time she gets the results so it’s a little hard to be too angry with her.
There’s so much talk about there being so few women directors and producers in Hollywood. Your thoughts?
Well, I started out working for Jane Campion and Jane Chapman and a whole bunch of really bad ass women so I’m always more surprised when I walk onto sets and see, ‘There are no women anywhere!’ I’ve had the privilege of getting to be around some really amazingly strong women in this business.
You also have a production company with your husband (Stephen Moyer). How did that come about?
I think producing is a really natural evolution from being a very detailed and focused actor and if you’re paying attention and you know how a set is supposed to run and understand the different departments and how it’s all supposed to come together I think it’s very natural to want to be involved in the process of putting that team together and constructing that story. It’s a team sport, and obviously, I think that we are moving in a great direction as far as there being more emphasis on the female voice creatively or inclusion in general. But also I’ve been very lucky. I haven’t had it too bad.
You collaborated with Stephen on his directorial debut. How was that experience?
It was wonderful. He’s a great director. He directed a lot of True Blood and that was 7 years of work pretty much every single day so our comfortable, happy zone is working together because that’s how we met. I know a lot of people don’t feel like that about their spouses but that’s kind of where we are at our happiest. When we’re in different countries and time zones on different jobs kind of blows, if you’ll excuse the expression (laughs).
Can you talk about your next film, The Irishman?
I play Robert De Niro’s daughter. He’s playing a real-life gangster who it is alleged killed the Teamster, former president Jimmy Hoffa and it’s been one of the coolest things I have ever gotten to do at work on. Realistically I wouldn’t imagine there’s going to be another big Scorsese gangster film with that same line line-up of his guys so it’s not only been incredibly exciting and fun but a massive learning experience.
How valuable is music when it comes to getting into your character?
There’s absolutely music that is evocative of certain emotional states or feelings or times in your life that are useful. Even on the most tightly – well oiled set, it’s always very noisy most of the time when everything is being set up so the headphones going in and being able to go into your zone is a pretty good refuge.
How are you managing with your 5-year-old twins?
They’re still portable (laughs) But in the not so distant future there will be a home base in one place maintained by one or the other of us for a long period of time during the year. I think we have a little more time before we have to worry about it.
How do you look back on your time on True Blood?
It’s been ten years since it started. I think also generally ages 25 to 35 are pretty rapid change with maturity, life passage times for anybody regardless of what you do with your life. Mine just happened to be in a very strangely public sort of bubble surrounded by a lot of really hot naked dudes (laughs). There are worst ways to make a living, yeah (laughs).