Anna Paquin Bites Into True Blood for HBO

Anna Paquin has already played a mutant with an untouchable curse in the X-Men feature-film franchise (along with, oh, a few dozen other characters, including one -- in The Piano -- that netted her an Oscar), so why not a telepathic waitress with a thing for the undead?

But I'm not talking about any old telepathic waitress. No, I'm speaking of the lead in HBO's new drama pilot True Blood from writer/director/executive producer Alan Ball (Six Feet Under). The pilot is based on the Southern Vampire series of novels by Charlaine Harris.

Paquin will play Sookie Stackhouse, an innocent waitress who can read people's minds. In a small Louisiana town, she comes into contact with the burgeoning underworld ... which isn't quite so underground now that vampires can buy Japanese-made synthetic blood and mingle with the living. The vampires' emergence into everyday society throws Sookie into the arms of one of the undead, and a love story (writ large by Ball) begins.

Also cast: Ryan Kwanten (Summerland) and Sam Trammell (Judging Amy). Kwanten will play Sookie's brother, while Trammel will play the owner of the restaurant where Sookie works.

Personally, I've been tracking this project since it was first announced, and I cannot wait to see what the confluence between Harris, Ball, and Paquin produces. It's one of the very few pilot scripts I've yet to get my greedy little mitts on, but, believe me, I'm trying.

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.