Hollywood star Anna Paquin says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's leadership in the wake of the recent Christchurch mosque terror attacks has made her "really proud to be a Kiwi".
The Canadian-born Wellington-raised star of hit TV series True Blood and X-Men movie franchise has joined the chorus of big name celebrities praising the government's swift decision to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and all assault rifles.
"I'm so incredibly proud of how my Prime Minister has handled it," Paquin said in an interview with online French magazine Brut.
"I've probably lost a few hundred thousand Twitter followers, but I just do believe that regular citizens do not need to have military grade weapons. I don't believe that's necessary.
"And that might make me unpopular with some people but that's what I believe. And I think she acted incredibly swiftly and respectfully."
Paquin, who is currently starring in the British black comedy show Flack, echoed the thoughts of many by expressing her shock that the March 15 shootings could occur in New Zealand.
"As a woman of New Zealand and as someone who grew up in a non-gun culture world there, it's absolutely heart-breaking," she said.
"I can't believe that's something that could possibly have happened in my beautiful, peaceful country.
"But I am also incredibly proud of how our Prime Minister has handled it."
The Los Angeles-based 36-year-old is the latest Hollywood celebrity to praise Ardern's leadership, after fellow film star Reese Witherspoon took to Twitter on Monday, telling her almost 2.5 million followers: "This is a leader that truly deserves our attention."
R&B superstar Alicia Keys also recently took to Instagram to give her a "shout out" saying: "Love and empathy are the only things that are going to push us forward".