Anna Paquin Stays TRUE To BLOOD

Award-winning movie vet Anna Paquin wanted to play a mind-reading waitress enough to audition and get in touch with her inner (and outer) blonde.
True Blood creator Alan Ball told Sci Fi Wire's MIKE SZYMANSKI and other reporters that Oscar-winner Anna Paquin actually pursued the lead role in his upcoming HBO vampire series.

Initially, Ball (Six Feet Under) was stumped about why a successful movie star would want to take on a TV show, even a pay-cable series. "I thought about it, and I thought, 'Of course she'd like to do this. It's a fantastic role, a great role. Nobody is going to cast her like this in a movie. Yet.'"

Paquin's character on the show, based on the novels of Charlaine Harris, is mind-reading Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse. While it's not the first time the X-Men star has inhabited a character with special powers, Sookie's physical appearance is a startling departure for the Canadian-born, New Zealand-raised brunette.

"I was a little worried that she wouldn't want to dye her hair blonde, but, actually, she was very willing," Ball said. "I felt a responsibility to be as true as I could to the book. You have to be close enough so they don't think, 'Whoa, it doesn't make any sense.' But, ultimately, physical resemblance isn't as important as whether this person can bring this character to life in a way that's compelling and makes me care about what happens to them."

Paquin, who won the Academy Award for her first film role in The Piano at age 11, didn't even mind auditioning for Ball. "When he cast me, I was a pasty brunette from New Zealand, and now I'm a Southern blonde. So you have to respect and love a director who will cast someone who isn't necessarily the most obvious choice and who can see the potential in their actors and actually create something."

She also said she's enjoying the added attention that comes with being a blonde. "Boys like to stare at blonde girls. Apparently, it's totally true. So it's...amusing and quite lovely. Boys like blonde girls, who knew?"

True Blood and Anna Paquin's hair debut September 7th on HBO.
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Sci Fi Wire