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Sixty Seconds with Anna Paquin

Before we talk season two of Flack can we discuss you and your husband Stephen Moyer’s spirited video response to Hollyoaks actor Joe Tracini’s viral-sensation #beeftoe jazz routine?

I’d like to say this is the sort of thing that happens when you lock our family up together for a period of time but it’s really not. This is just who we are. The #beeftoe jazz number was just the best thing I had seen in a long time. So, of course, I had to get Steve to learn it. I love it when the gods of the internet connect us with people you didn’t know were kindred spirits.

Purrfect: Husband Stephen Moyer

How long did it take to learn the number?

Honestly, it was a very short portion of the rest of an afternoon after we’d done with home-schooling.

Your dogs don’t seem too concerned by Stephen’s ‘sexy-kitten’ move…

To be fair, they’ve seen some pretty strange human behaviour. It’s not like my husband prancing around in a maternity swimsuit and an apron is the most peculiar thing those dogs have ever seen.

How’s home-schooling going?

Nobody wants to hear actors complaining about anything ever but let’s just say I’m not a teacher. I was raised by teachers and every single minute of every day doing this makes me give them even more respect.

In this series of Flack, your celeb publicist, Robyn, goes on a three-day drugs-fuelled meltdown. Was that more fun for you to act or for Stephen to direct?

I love working with Steve and he loves working with me. He and I can go to some pretty dark places just because of the level of trust we have. In some respects I think it is a pretty brutal and aggressive look at what somebody’s rock bottom looks like.

Do any celeb publicists think Robyn is based on them?

I don’t know. They might do. Although I don’t know that anyone would fess up to that. It’s certainly not based on my publicist, who I’ve had since I was 13.

How has it changed for child actors since your Oscar-winning role in The Piano in 1993, aged 11?

There are certainly more laws in place now over what you can and can’t do with kids on screen and on set. Some of that stuff has changed quite radically since I was a kid, as it should. But I honestly come from a really protective family who were not industry people but who damn sure got the rulebook out and read it cover to cover and protected me from everything that it was within their power to do so.

Which did you find more nerve-racking — winning or presenting an Oscar?

Probably presenting. I still find public speaking really terrifying, especially public speaking that you know in advance you’re going to have to do. I know there are a lot of actors who are also good public speakers. I’m just not one of them.

Have you ever seen the French & Saunders spoof of The Piano?

No, I haven’t. I kind of exist in a little bit of a pop-culture black hole. I will come to things much later than everyone else and will then be endlessly ranting about it being the best thing ever when it actually finished ten years earlier. This is going to sound terrible but I don’t really watch a ton of film and TV. I’m really into podcasts about serial killers.

Can you recommend one?

There’s Crime Junkies, Moms And Murder… if you go into Apple and click on the true crime category, there’s an endless pool of really dark, depressing, gnarly s*** to scare the crap out of you. This is nothing to do with quarantine by the way. It’s just me.

Unhinged: Tiger King’s Joe Exotic

Are there any TV shows you are watching in lockdown?

I mean, if you’re not watching Netflix’s Tiger King… to be fair, I had listened to a podcast about it first so I was not unfamiliar with the case. But come on, that just goes under the category of you could not make that s*** up. If you were to pitch that as a narrative series to the drama department of any network they would tell you you were insane.

It’s your tenth wedding anniversary this August. What would your perfect way be to spend it?

Well, it looks like we might be getting our long-standing hope, which is often not the reality, of being in the same place at the same time. It looks like this year that is probably not going to be an issue.

What will be the first thing you do when lockdown is lifted?

I honestly can’t complain about all of this. We have some space at our home in California. There are people right now who are literally risking their lives to go to work and don’t have the luxury of staying home or being with their kids.

Flack is on W at 10pm on Mondays