Article on Maxim.com
AP: Intense does not begin to describe it. It’s kind of surreal when there are grown-ups who look like they have serious day jobs, dressed in full-on regalia of some creature or character, asking you a really serious question about the scenes of homosexuality and discrimination in your show. And you’re like, “You’re dressed like a superhero! And you’re asking really profound questions!” I somehow never ended up going to any conventions for the X-Men films. I’m not sure how I pulled that off. So the comic book contingent had no idea who I was.
MM: Your character in True Blood is telepathic. Do you have any psychic abilities yourself?
AP: Good old-fashioned female intuition. That’s about it.
MM: When’s the last time you used that?
AP: Um, I don’t think I’d be out of line in saying it’s just part of the way women interact with the world.
MM: Between this and X-Men, are you drawn to the supernatural?
AP: I’m drawn to doing interesting stuff at work. And some of the time with the supernatural, you get to do really crazy, fun things. But I’m not a big genre-fantasy gal, particularly.
MM: If you could have one supernatural power in real life, what would it be?
AP: Teleportation. The whole metal-detector, strip-search thing you have to do every time you take a flight is annoying. Understandable, but kind of a pain.
MM: Your character feasts on blood from a vampire’s arm in the first episode. Was that fun?
AP: It was a little gross, mostly, in that case, because the arm tasted weird. It was cold latex, and it’s a little crazy when you’re holding the exact replica of the arm of someone you’re working with and it has little hairs sewn into it to make it look real. The blood tasted kind of nasty, but it was also one of those things where we were shooting at night-obviously, because it was one of the vampire sequences-and it was getting light, and we were desperately trying to make the animatronic gag arm work. It wasn’t really an appropriate moment to have a diva fit.
MM: Your character Sookie is, to put it mildly, forthright about her physical assets. How do you psych yourself up to do that?
AP: For one thing, I have an incredibly good bra. They don’t give me a lot of clothes, but the ones they do are all designed to push, lift, accentuate. The if-you’ve-got-it-flaunt-it method of costuming. Our costume designers are very talented at that. You don’t see much besides the short shorts and waitress T-shirt in the first two episodes, but there are some dresses they’ve built for me that are architecture. No disrespect to my God-given assets, which are quite modest, but they can make a lot out of not so much. It’s hilarious. I’m walking around with what some woman would pay a lot of money to have done to her body. I’m all tan and blonde and look nothing like myself, so why not be half-naked with my boobies around my chin?
MM: Was it your decision to go blonde?
AP: In the book Sookie is a blonde, and I was . . . not. They cast me and rolled the dice that when they dyed my hair it wouldn’t be a disaster. I have a very talented colorist. And I’m not changing it back between seasons. I’m really enjoying it.
MM: Do you find that you act differently?
AP: No, but I have found that boys do stare more at blonde girls. It’s pretty simple.
MM: It’s a sexy show. But what’s interesting to me is that the guy playing your brother is the one who’s gratuitously topless and naked, kind of like the women in ’80s horror movies.
AP: We take his clothes off a lot. As the season goes on, the nudity gets shared around, but in the first couple of episodes, he carries the brunt of that.
MM: What did you and the other women in the cast think of the guy playing the naked-bimbo role? Payback?
AP: It is kind of funny. It is a very sexy show. All of us girls are running around in shorts that barely cover our behinds. Yeah, he’s naked a lot, but when you have a body like that . . . I mean Ryan [Kwanten] has, in all fairness, a ridiculously nice physique, so I don’t think he minds too much.
MM: Why does pop culture continue to fixate on vampires?
AP: They’re sexy and dangerous and always really hot. And they’ve been around a long time-they probably know what they’re doing.
MM: Between doing the two X-Men sequels, both huge blockbusters, you did The Squid and the Whale, one of the best indies of 2005. Why do you do both?
AP: I love everything. You gain and lose different things in different mediums or different sectors of different mediums. There are liberties you get on tiny indie films in terms of not having to be designed toward a marketing demographic. Whereas on something much bigger, it’s going to have to appeal to many more people so as not to be a financial disaster, but you also get lot of fun playgrounds to play in: ridiculously intricate costumes and sets that you just don’t have the money for in a Squid and the Whale-type of thing.
MM: Did winning an Oscar so young make you want to keep going in the industry?
AP: I didn’t really have any overwhelming opinions about it. I was 11. I wanted to go back to school and be with my friends. Jobs came along, and they were really good, and once in a while my parents would let me do one. Once I was old enough to have an opinion, I still had a career-thank God, because they still hadn’t made that decision for me-and I picked up with it. The Oscar is a means to an end. It’s an amazing privilege, obviously, but it also lets me do what I do. I wouldn’t have a career otherwise.
MM: Do you remember being up there on the stage and making your acceptance speech?
AP: I do, but only because friends keep playing it back to me on YouTube. It’s blurry. If I remember correctly, it took me about a minute before anything came out of my mouth.