A/V Room









X-Men 2 - Anna Paquin Q&A

Compiled by Jack Foley

Q. Anna, we've been watching you on-screen for years, from sort of becoming the youngest Oscar winner for The Piano onwards, but recently you've been breaking up your career with different things. We saw you in London with This Is Our Youth, and I believe you've gone back to studying at Columbia? How do you balance all of that out, in terms of when to do a movie, when to do a smaller project, when to do the real life, etc?
Um, work is real life, it's my real life. I always want to be doing what I am most passionate about at the time.
I'm a huge workaholic and a compulsive perfectionist and I'm not happy unless I am doing things 3,000% So if I want to be in school, and that's where my head's at, then I'll do it.
And with projects, I'll just try and pick something that feels right, and something I can really get my teeth into. You have to really care about your work, I think, when you're acting, because it is very personally involving and I just try to prject a few months ahead what I would want to be doing and hope that it works out and that I don't change my mind halfway through.

Q. How does working on stage compare with the big, kind of special effects driven films like X-Men 2?
A. It's about as opposite as it possibly can be. With X-Men type movies, the scenes which are the most exciting to watch, are the scenes which are the most boring to film. They take weeks and weeks, or set up after set up.
We do teeny little, itsy-bitsy pieces and you never see it until six months later, when someone's been tinkering with it in post-production and making it all look really spectacular.
And there's also a lot of stuff to hide behind, there's a lot of the responsibility is not specifically on the actors' shoulders, whereas what I found to my joy and absolute horror, in theatre, it is completely your responsibility as the actor not to screw up, because you're the only one standing on the stage.
You have this amazing team behind you, and amazing piece of material, and if you forget your lines, or trip over something, you're the one that's going to look like an idiot.
On top of which, trying to actually make it fresh every night is an incredible challenge and I've just started doing theatre, so I'm kind of newly excited by it, and think it's way more exciting than film, actually, because there is an immediacy to it that you never get with film.
You see the people every single night, who are watching you're work, and you see how they're responding to it, and you just don't get that in film.
It's just such a different world. It's a whole new film that has opened up to me and I'm excited to do more.




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