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September / october 2006:

Evan Rachel Wood
The provocative young actress who impressed (and terrified) us in Thirteen is moving her carreer along quite nicely.

by Bradford R. Pilcher

Evan Rachel Wood is the nightmare of every suburban American parent. Rather, she plays a suburban parental nightmare in most of her movies. From her breakout - and Golden Globe nominated - role in Thirteen, the Jewish North Carolina native found herself playing the perpetual bad girl.

There was 2005's Pretty Persuasion wherein Wood portrayed an evil, sexually-active high-schooler. Think Poison Ivy but smart and an indie flick. She followed that up with Down in the Valley, a film that found her character engaged in a sexual relationship with an older man posing as a cowboy.

This all from a girl who only just turned 19 and had to be home schooled because of bullying. Her educational adjustment helped her score a high school diploma by age 15 - she picked up a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in case she ever had to face bullies again - so it's safe to say she's mature for her age, but she swears she's not trying to be shocking with her choice of roles. Instead she hopes her roles “spread awareness” about the consequences of deviant behavior.

Her latest film isn't exactly a sex romp, either. Running With Scissors has her playing the eccentric daughter of an even more eccentric psychiatrist - Gwyneth Paltrow plays her sister. When, in the film's trailer, she asks the male lead, “Are you ready to play doctor,” you see the shades of her more seductive roles, but she ends up strapping him down for electro-shock therapy instead.

“There are too many movies that are exactly the same,” she once confessed to Interview magazine. “People just don't really expect movies to be that good anymore.”

We can't disagree, but in the case of Ms. Wood we fully expect her to continue bucking that trend.

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