How former wild child Evan Rachel Wood's personal demons and embittered past prepped her for 'Westworld' — and helped her reboot her life. And here, inside a farm-fresh joint called Butcher and Bee, at a table spread with pickled okra and fried chicken and kale, Evan Rachel Wood is questioning the nature of our reality, the cogs and wheels that have created this very scene, up to and possibly including the guy posted up at the bar who looks like an older Elvis, if Elvis were crazy tall and wearing vintage tweed.
What if all this is learned and not true? Who am I really, without my programming? Decent questions, all, and not necessarily rhetorical. Wood signed on. Which means that today, wearing inconspicuous black in a town where she recently moved knowing almost no one, the single mom is currently the highest-ranked star on IMDb, even if she still might best be known for dating Marilyn Manson a decade ago. This is because Westworld has been, by most accounts, a breakout success.
Strange advice to give someone who has been in the business for more than 20 years, but correct nonetheless. Then there was the estranged, wounded daughter in The Wrestler and the estranged, vindictive daughter in Mildred Pierce. When a director once asked her to shed a single tear out of a single eye, Wood obliged. Some of her talent for trauma Wood came by honestly. Her dad ran a regional theater in Raleigh, North Carolina, where her mom and her three brothers frequently took to the stage. At age five, she was cast in a movie of the week, which led to an audition for Interview With a Vampire.
She moved with her mom to L. At 14, she booked Thirteen , ushering in fame and its ways of messing with a young mind. But for Wood it was a learning experience of the highest order. She has since referred to herself as gender-fluid, and in came out publicly as bisexual. These are all things, she says, that she has experienced since she realized at age four or five she was attracted to women. By a significant other while we were together. And on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar.
Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism. I left so much in that first season and never looked back. I think I was taken advantage of because someone knew there was something about me that they could exploit. It was astonishing to us. She can flip it on a dime. Good God. I rented one the other day, and I loved it.
But the show is definitely a commentary on that. Well, sort of: Like, the machines in Westworld , it seems to have a mind of its own. Wood can sing pretty much anything. Music, she says, has helped her feel that it was OK to be androgynous and different, and she spent much of our car ride here fangirling on Bowie, Donovan and Radiohead. Her band, Rebel and a Basketcase, which she formed with singer-songwriter Zach Villa after they performed together at a charity John Hughes Cabaret the name is from two Breakfast Club characters , is releasing its first album this fall.
Imagine Now and Then, but mid-twenties and a bit more alternative. A guy wanders in and looks at her with wonder. He looks a little rough around the edges, a little worse for wear, but who knows what his reality may be. Wood turns to him and smiles. Dan Martensen for Rolling Stone. Newswire Powered by. Close the menu. Rolling Stone. To help keep your account secure, please log-in again. You are no longer onsite at your organization. Please log in. For assistance, contact your corporate administrator.
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