06/17/2009 AT 09:15 AM EDT
For Anna Paquin, who grew up in New Zealand, running around with bare feet is natural ("I love being barefoot," she says). Baring her legs is an entirely different story.
It took being cast as Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO hit True Blood
to "feel comfortable wearing very little" – and do it everyday!
"After I was cast and realized my body would be exposed all the time, I went out and bought some shorts – I owned none! – to help me get used to it," the actress tells Self magazine
in the July issue, on newsstands June 23. "It's liberating!"
So much so, in fact, that Paquin, who turns 27 next month, has adapted to a new daily uniform of shorts and a T-shirt. For Self
, she looks pretty at home in a belly-baring ensemble on the beach – barefoot, of course!
– Kristin Boehm