Actress of the Day: EVAN RACHEL WOOD
EVAN RACHEL WOOD
Next in: The Wrestler coming out Wed Dec 17, 2008.
Her Character: Stephanie Robinson, the Daughter of Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke).
The Buzz: Known more for her relationship with Marilyn Manson, Evan Rachel Wood is a talented young actress who even though has proved again and again that she is one talented actress, has yet to become a household name. Maybe 2009 will be her year to shine.
Wood was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the daughter of Sara Lynn Moore, an actress, director and acting coach, and Ira David Wood III, an actor, singer, theater director and playwright.
Wood began her career appearing in several made-for-television films from 1994 and onwards, also playing an occasional role in the television series American Gothic. In 1996, Wood’s parents separated and later divorced, and Wood moved with her mother to her mother’s native Los Angeles County, California. After a one-season role on the television drama, Profiler, Wood was cast in the supporting role of Jessie Sammler on the television show Once and Again.
Wood’s first major screen role was in the low-budget 1998 film Digging to China, which also starred Kevin Bacon and Mary Stuart Masterson. The film won the Children’s Jury Award at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. She also had a role in Practical Magic, a 1998 family fantasy film directed by Griffin Dunne and starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, that same year.
She made her teenage debut as a leading film actress in 2002’s Little Secrets directed by Blair Treu, playing aspiring 14-year-old concert violinist Emily Lindstrom where she was nominated for Best Leading Young Actress at the Young Artist Awards. That same year, Wood played a supporting role in the Andrew Niccol-directed science fiction satirical drama film,S1m0ne, which starred Al Pacino.
Wood’s breakthrough movie role followed with the somewhat controversial 2003 independent film Thirteen. She played the role of Tracy Louise Freeland, one of two young teens who sink into a downward spiral of hard drugs, sex, lies, piercings and petty crime. Her performance was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress – Drama and for a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Best Actress. During the time of Thirteen’s release, Vanity Fair named Wood as one of the It Girls of Hollywood, and she appeared, along with the other actresses, on the magazine’s July 2003 cover.
A supporting role opposite Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones, in Ron Howard’s The Missing, in which she plays the kidnapped daughter, Lilly Gilkeson, in a Searchers-style western, followed the same year.
In 2005, she appeared in the Mike Binder-directed by The Upside of Anger, opposite Kevin Costner and Joan Allen, a well-reviewed film in which Wood played Lavender “Popeye” Wolfmeyer, one of four sisters dealing with their father’s absence. She also narrates.
Her next two starring roles were in the dark independent films, the 2005 Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival nominee, Pretty Persuasion,a black comedy/satirical film focusing on themes of sexual harassment and discrimination in schools, and attitudes about females in media and society, in which she played, Kimberly Joyce, a villainous, sexually active high-schooler.
Down in the Valley, was directed by David Jacobson, where her character, Tobe, falls in love with an older man posing as a cowboy at odds with modern society (Edward Norton).
In 2005, Wood starred in the music videos for Bright Eyes’ “At the Bottom of Everything” and Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
In September of 2006, she received Premiere magazine’s “Spotlight Award for Emerging Talent.”Also in 2006, she was described by The Guardian as being “wise beyond her years” and as “one of the best actresses of her generation.”
Later that year, Wood appeared with an all-star ensemble cast as Natalie Finch in the Golden Globe-nominated 2006 comedy-drama film Running With Scissors. Directed by Ryan Murphy and starring , Annette Bening, it is based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs, a semi-autobiographical account of Burroughs’ childhood in an excentric dysfunctional family. Wood was awarded the 2007 Cannes Film Festival Chopard Trophy for Female Revelation for her performance.
Wood had roles in two films released in September, 2007: Sundance Film Festival – premiered  , King of California, a story of a bipolar jazz musician (Michael Douglas) and his long-suffering teenage daughter, Miranda (played by Wood) who are reunited after his two-year stay in a mental institution and embark on a Quixotic search for Spanish treasure.
Across the Universe, a Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated musical directed by Julie Taymor and set in Liverpool, United Kingdom, New York City, and Vietnam about the tribulations of several characters during the counter-culture revolution of the 60’s, set to the songs of The Beatles; Wood played Lucy, who develops a relationship with Jude (Jim Sturgess). The film features her singing musical numbers.
Wood provided the voice of an alien named Mala, a mechanically-inclined free-thinker in Terra, a 2008 computer animated science fiction film about a peaceful alien planet which faces destruction from colonization by the displaced remainder of the human race, winner of the 2008 Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
Starring in 2008’s Vadim Perelman-directed The Life Before Her Eyes, based on the Laura Kasischke novel of the same name, about the friendship of two teens of opposite character who are involved in a Columbine-like shooting incident at their school and are forced to make an impossible choice. Wood played the younger version of Uma Thurman’s character, Diana.
She has a role in director Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, about Randy “Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a professional wrestler from the 1980s who is forced to retire after a heart attack threatens to kill him the next time he wrestles. She plays Stephanie, Randy “Ram” Robinson’s estranged daughter.
She has a role in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, to be released in 2009. Next, will play writer Anne Brontë in the film Brontë, and will be involved in the film Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. Wood has stated that she prefers music to movies and is planning to launch a singing career. Wood and Across the Universe co-star Jim Sturgess are reported to be involved in the upcoming Julie Taymor Broadway production of a Spider-Man musical adaptation. Music for the show will be composed and written by Bono and The Edge of the band U2.