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Out of the Archives: Evan Rachel Wood on “Thirteen”

Evan Rachel Wood, who recently acted in Kajillionaire, written and directed by Miranda July, and completed three seasons of the TV series Westworld, was first interviewed by the journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press in 2003 when she was 15- years old and talked about playing a troubled teenager in Thirteen directed by Catherine Hardwick.
“Unfortunately, I could relate to the character and to the story pretty well. My life at 13 was never as extreme as Tracy’s, but I definitely knew girls like that, I’d seen this kind of thing happen much too intimately. I never participated in any of that, but I was surrounded by it all the time, in school and in society. These girls were at dance class, at Tae Kwon Do, and everywhere, so I couldn’t really escape it. And I knew their parents as well, who had no idea, they thought their kids were these perfect angels. That’s one of the reasons why I made the film because I wanted parents to wake up a little bit, open their eyes and see what’s really going on.”
“I could relate to Tracy in some ways because I went through this self-conscious stage when I didn’t really know where I fit or where I belonged, and she goes through the same thing. So, it wasn’t too difficult to find ways to relate, but it was difficult to bring up those emotions that were so personal to me.”
“It was a mixture of things in my case. I was always taught to just be myself and not really care what other people thought, so when I got into junior high, through everybody else’s eyes I was weird because I was pretty out there. I was always talking or singing or dancing, I wore pink all the time, I wasn’t doing outrageous things, I was mostly just hyper, but my personality was very loud, and people thought I was weird. Then all of a sudden I had no friends, so it became about loneliness and looking to be understood, even if you had to pretend to be somebody else. I did everything I could to fit in and lost myself in it all, I forgot who I really was.”
“The film really changed me in many ways. I found myself relating to Tracy too much and that woke me up. I actually found people that really, truly understand me and that I can trust. It’s so much easier and I’m much happier now.”
“My father runs a theater in North Carolina, so I was always there, either on stage or backstage. I grew up watching both my parents act and I was really influenced by them a lot. My mother helped me out with my scripts, and she was really supportive of the whole thing. She was fine with me taking this role in Thirteen, she knows that all this is going on, and she said that not a lot has changed since she was that age; so she really understood.”
“I always looked up to Jodie Foster, because she was an actress when she was young and she has managed to make the transformation from a kid to this amazing woman, and to a director. So I hope I can do the same thing.”