Fans can get a double dose of Anna Paquin this week as HBO's True Blood returns for its sixth season the same time the actress makes her debut in WIGS' new webseries Susanna.
In Susanna, which debuts Friday on the WIGS YouTube channel, Paquin takes a break from True Blood's fantastical elements for a story set in the real world. She plays Katie, a new mother who is suffering from postpartum depression and the older sister to investment banker Susanna (Lost's Maggie Grace). WIGS offers short films and documentaries all starring female leads. Past WIGS series have starred Julia Stiles, Maura Tierney and Jennifer Beals, among others.
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Over on HBO, True Blood returns Sunday at 9/8c with the adventures of waitress-fairy Sookie Stackhouse, who is dealing with her ex Bill (real life husband Stephen Moyer) after he drank a vial of blood from the original vampire that made him explode before being resurrected. TVGuide.com caught up with Paquin to get the scoop on her two series, her reaction to the end of the Sookie Stackhouse novels (Spoiler alert!) and her role in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past:
How did you initially get involved with WIGS?
Anna Paquin: Jon Avnet, [the director/producer who launched WIGS], is a really old friend of my husband's and our families are really good friends. Stephen did one for him like two years ago when they were first launching the WIGS project. Jon and I had been talking about wanting to do something together for ages. He wrote this a year or so ago, so we did it.
Tell us about your role in Susanna.
Paquin: Katie is a single mom. Her kid is not specifically eating or drinking, and she's on her own. She has been incredibly stressed and she's falling apart. Then on the polar opposite, you have Maggie's character who is the perfectly organized, put-together business woman who doesn't have any desire to have children whatsoever at that point, who ends up in the middle of a thunderstorm in these particular days of Katie's life.
This role comes in the wake of you having your own children. Did you relate to Katie's plight at all?
Paquin: It's not so much that. It's just that these are the kind of things that should be talked about more openly. It's a really detailed and beautifully written portrait. It does feel very real. It's hopefully the kind of thing that will make people feel like they can discuss this kind of stuff more openly.
Why do you think WIGS is important for women to watch?
Paquin: As an actress, I've found that there's not an enormous amount of really interesting material for women that's not sappy and sentimental. What Jon and others have done by putting a creative emphasis on female stories, if possible written by females and driven by women, I think that's really amazing. I can't think of anyone else who's doing anything like that. I was really proud to be part of it.
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Was it nice to step out of the Sookie Stackhouse role for a bit?
Paquin: I was doing this over my weekends in the middle of shooting [Laughs]. It's not like I was doing it in any one long chunk and getting to stay in it. I was going back and forth, but it's always fun to do new things and new characters.
Speaking of True Blood, Sookie is dealing with the fallout of Bill drinking the blood of Lilith. What will we see in the immediate aftermath?
Paquin: He's this creature that we didn't really know much about and he's very dangerous. Who he is, what he is, what his powers are exactly are things that unfold over the season. There are a lot of questions even after the first few episodes.
Sookie gets a new love interest in Rob Kazinsky's Ben this season, but is she open to love yet?
Paquin: Sookie usually starts out every season saying, "I'm not getting involved with anyone. I'm going to be my own person and stay away from trouble." But that doesn't make interesting television. [Laughs] She ends up in these situations with guys that usually end up being very complicated. Needless to say, it always gets more complicated than it should be. She always intends for things to be more simpler than they turn out.
How is Ben a different love interest than Bill, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) or Alcide (Joe Manganiello)?
Paquin: There's a common ground there because they're both faeries. She hasn't, until very recently, been around many of her kind that she likes, so at least starting out, there's some hope.
SPOILER ALERT FOR BOOK FANS: Charlaine Harris, the author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, paired Sam (Sam Trammell) and Sookie together in the final book. Do you feel like that would translate well to the series someday?
Paquin: Yeah, I heard she ends up with Sam! I think there's always been a really strong connection between Sookie and Sam. Whether or not that is really plausible considering what has gone on in each other's lives and what they've been through and what that's done to their friendship, I'm not really sure it would work. I definitely think there's at least a decent shot that they could be happy together. There's no really major wounds to be healed as far as their relationship is concerned. Who knows? That kind of stuff is not up to me.
Given that Louisiana has declared war on vampires, and Warlow is coming after her, how will she be handling that this season?
Paquin: The world, as usual, is a very dangerous place for her. What's interesting this season is that she's a lot less naïve and wide-eyed about it all. She goes in with a — cynical is the wrong word — but she's not quite expecting the world to be a beautiful place, which, how could you be after all these odd and traumatizing things have happened to her? She's more mature and realistic about her situation.
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You're returning for X-Men: Days of Future Past. What's it been like slipping back into the role of Rogue?
Paquin: It was really fun. My scripts, however, came with a letter attached to it saying that when I'm not reading it, I had to lock it up in a safe and give it back when I was done with it. I had a really great time, but that's about as much as I'm allowed to say. [Laughs] It was nice to see my old friends, but anything other than that, look on Bryan Singer's Twitter page. He seems to be in charge of what information goes out there.
Check out a sneak peek of Paquin on WIGS and stay tuned for more True Blood scoop from Paquin and the rest of the cast right here on TVGuide.com.
True Blood returns Sunday at 9/8c on HBO, while WIGS will debut Susanna on Friday.