While HBO’s True Blood started out as a promising vampire drama thanks to its taste for good gore and sexy human-vampire relations, by the end of the series, it became something of a cautionary tale for its cast members. To keep the story moving, the show had to rely on the introduction of a plethora of bizarre non-human species to supplement its bloodthirsty baddies, and in the process, became so zany that it practically ruined the careers of some of its actors who had no choice but to play along with the weirdness.
Before Paquin took up residence in Bon Temps, she was one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation. Not only did she win an Oscar at the mere age of 11 (she’s still the second-youngest Best Supporting Actress winner of all time), but she also boasted a prominent role in the X-Men superhero franchise and was getting consistent work in films. After starring as the waitress-turned-faerie in the increasingly ridiculous HBO series, however, her demand has dropped off significantly. She had some critical success early on with TV’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sandler (which earned her a Golden Globe nomination), and she was even recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after True Blood’s first, slightly less chaotic season, winning the 2009 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series. Yet her career is still just a shadow of what it once was.
Her character Rogue, which was a staple of the original X-Men movie trilogy, hardly appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, despite her original popularity, and since True Blood ended her biggest role to date has been voice work in Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. She did have a small role in the recent TV Roots revival and is slated to star in ABC’s new drama Broken, so perhaps she can begin to regain some of the momentum she’s lost since playing Sookie Stackhouse.