The former True Blood actress, 36, will have a role in the upcoming fifth season of Showtime’s hit drama. Paquin is expected to play the adult version of Joanie Lockhart, Alison and Cole Lockhart’s daughter.
In the final season, Joanie will return to Montauk and set out to discover the truth about her late mother (Ruth Wilson), who in season 4’s shocking finale, died at the hands of her love interest Ben (Ramón Rodríguez).
The season’s upcoming ten episodes will also let the characters explore how “everything does really fall apart in the end, but somewhere in that wreckage, the seeds of change finally sprout,” according to a press release from Showtime.
Following the news on Friday, The Affair creator Sarah Treem expressed her excitement on Twitter.
“To say we’re happy to welcome @AnnaPaquin, would be the understatement of the century,” she tweeted. “Been a HUGE fan of hers for as long as I can remember. We can’t wait to show you all this final season….”
In response, Paquin echoed her thrilled message and shared that she was looking forward to joining the cast. “Super excited to join you all!” she tweeted back.
The show’s executive producer Jessica Rhoades also sent a congratulatory tweet to the actress: “We’re so thrilled and lucky to welcome @AnnaPaquin to @SHO_TheAffair!” she wrote.
News of Paquin joining the cast comes after it was announced over the summer that Ruth Wilson would not be returning for the show’s final season. Her departure left fans speculating about the real reason as to why she chose to move on.
“It isn’t about pay parity, and it wasn’t about other jobs,” Wilson, 36, told The New York Times in a profile piece. “But I’m not really allowed to talk about it.”
While Wilson couldn’t elaborate, she did reveal that there is a larger behind-the-scenes narrative that led to her departure. “There is a much bigger story,” she added.
During an appearance on CBS This Morning, Wilson was asked by co-host Gayle King if it was true that she wanted to leave the show. In response, the actress said, “I did want to leave but I’m not allowed to talk about why.”
Though she did not go into further detail, Wilson did address rumors her departure was brought on by a disagreement over her show earnings. “I’ve never complained to Showtime about pay parity,” she explained.
In a statement to EW, Showtime responded to Wilson’s comments, saying, “We can’t speak for Ruth, but heading into season 4 everyone agreed the character’s story had run its course.”
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“Ultimately, it felt like the most powerful creative decision would be to end Alison’s arc at the moment when she had finally achieved self-empowerment,” the statement continued. “The impact of her loss will be felt as the series concludes next season. We thank the many fans who embraced the character of Alison and especially thank Ruth for her indelible work over the past four seasons.”
Also not returning for the fifth season is Joshua Jackson, who played Cole Lockhart, as well as Catalina Sandino Moreno (Luisa) and Omar Metwally (Vik), according to EW.