By Maureen Lee Lenker
March 04, 2019 at 12:00 PM EST
  • Movie

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All of us have our bucket lists — things we yearn to achieve in our careers or personal lives before we shuffle off our mortal coil.

For Oscar-winner Anna Paquin, a major item on hers was getting to work with director Spike Lee, which she did on the 2002 drama 25th Hour. “His movies are extraordinary,” she explained of her desire to work with him while sitting down with PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “I feel like every actor has a list of directors that formed what you thought of as being great movies and the fabric of the industry. He’s just always been on the list of people of, ‘Oh, that would be amazing.'”

Paquin joyfully recounted how that audition was a true “pinch me” moment for her. “I’ve spent quite a lot of my career being like, I can’t believe I get to be in the same room with all these people, and being like, yeah, these are just the people I work with.”

RELATED VIDEO: Anna Paquin reflects on winning an Oscar at 11 years old for her role in The Piano

She also cites the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who portrays her high school teacher in the film, as another instance of being surrounded by unbelievable talent. Working with him in the film was also a full circle moment for Paquin, as Hoffman directed her in her first play prior to this, a 2001 MCC Theater production of The Glory of Living.

Paquin explained that led to some mild and hilarious confusion on the set of 25th Hour. Having only worked with Hoffman as a director previously, she kept looking to him for approval out of force of habit. “I kept turning to him to ask him what he thought about things, and he’s like, ‘I am not your director,'” she recalled. “It was just instinct. I’d like look over like an expectant child [and] be like, ‘Is that okay?’ He’s like, ‘Not your boss, move along.'”

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25th Hour

  • Movie
  • R
  • 134 minutes
  • Spike Lee