Beautiful Minds

UPDATED 04/25/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/25/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT

Anna Paquin

Anna Paquin


• Have you ever had to play down your intelligence?

"No. I've never felt like if I seemed smart that it would be a bad thing," says the New Zealand-raised True Blood star, 28, who was enrolled at Columbia for a year before leaving to pursue her career.

• How would you grade your knowledge of beauty products?

"I have very finicky skin, so I could write an encyclopedia on what works well for which ailment. I'm obsessive about skin care actually."

• Are you ever self-conscious about one of your signature features-the gap in your teeth?

"It doesn't really bother me. I would only change it if it made me blend into a wider range of roles."

• What's the wisest life choice you've made?

"Getting married was a pretty good one," says Paquin, who wed her True Blood costar Stephen Moyer last year.


• What were you like in college?

"I was so stressed about getting good grades that I was a nerd," says the 30-year-old Fast & Furious actress (the latest installment, Fast Five, debuts this month). "I wish I had joined a sorority and had more fun."

• Do you prefer to play dumb characters or smart ones?

"When you have to play a little bit dumb or innocent, that can be challenging. I love Tina Fey because she does both. On 30 Rock, she's smart and a bit of a mess. We all relate to that."

• What's your main beauty game plan?

"I don't follow a lot of trends because they change so often. I stick to tried and true-drinking lots of water and good nutrition."


• What's the most valuable thing you learned at Harvard?

"It made me realize how important intelligence is," says the 32-year-old singer and Love That Girl! actress (and former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star). "And that there were other dorks like me!"

• Best beauty tip your mother ever gave you?

"She always said, 'Keep it simple,'" says Ali. "Don't get too many facials or put too many chemicals on your face."

• Smartest career move:

"I decided to take my future into my own hands and started a production company."

• Do you prefer smart roles or ditzy roles?

"Ashley [on Fresh Prince] was a smart girl. I prefer smart women who are really going out for something. The role I'm playing now, Tyana Jones, sometimes she's ditzy and sometimes she's brilliant."


• What was your major?

"I did an American history concentration, which just means you didn't have the discipline to declare an actual major," says the 39-year-old mom of Frances, 4, and Molly, 1, who's set to star in a new NBC pilot, Bent.

• Who's your beauty idol?

"Jill Clayburgh definitely comes to mind. She was beautiful inside and out-and intelligent."

• Would you consider yourself more book smart or street smart?

"I've never given it a lot of thought, but I'm definitely the least well-read of all my friends."

• Are you smart about the sun?

"Yes, but I'm not religious about it. I slop on whatever is available."


• What has Hollywood taught you about beauty?

"I have learned to moisturize. And I have learned to take makeup off before I go to bed," says The Office star, 30. "I used to never do that, and that's when you break out."

• What were you like in high school?

"I was very studious-staying up to study until 1 a.m. College, not as studious. I did more improv and played field hockey."


• So how does it feel to be dubbed a beauty?

"I identify as a comedy writer, so to get compliments on appearance, that's the nicest compliment-to be shallow! I've heard since I was 8 or 9 that I was smart, so this is great," says the actress and producer, 31.

• Do you have any beauty secrets?

"This is an Indian thing-my mom makes me heat up coconut oil, put it in my hair and wrap it in a towel. It keeps it shiny."

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