The beautiful and talented actress, Evan Rachel Wood, is super hot right now, thanks to the success of her sci-fi show, Westworld. In the show, she plays an android named Dolores Abernathy who is the oldest host in a Western-themed amusement park populated by other similar character android hosts. Did you know she is one of the top three most searched celebrities right now on IMDB.com? We use that site to look up the stars weekly. It’s basically wiki for celebrities.
Evan Rachel is not new to the celebrity scene, though—she’s been kicking around Hollywood for a while, and has appeared in several highly acclaimed films throughout her career. She is becoming known for her acting now and not just her past teenage romance with much older shock rocker, Marilyn Manson.
Here are a few interesting things you might not know about Evan Rachel Wood.
15. She started out as a child star
We all know what happens to plenty of child stars—especially those of the red-headed stepchild persuasion (we’re looking at you, Lindsay Lohan). Both Evan and Lindsay have red hair and acting talent in common—it’s true—but that’s where their similarities end. Evan Rachel seems to have emerged from general trauma of childhood stardom fairly intact and not a train wreck, like some of her contemporaries. Evan Rachel has acting longevity that too many of her peers lack. She can handle the pressure and she’s in it for the long haul.
She started out in her first big feature film, Practical Magic, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman (released 1999) for which she was nominated for a Young Star Award—she didn’t win but still, it was early recognition!
14. She started early in indie type films
Indie films are the cooler, smaller budget films that usually don’t rely on all the Hollywood in-your-face ballyhoo to get noticed. They rely on qualities like, oh, you know, character, plot, and storyline—just those little, often-overlooked details. No big budget chase scenes and nuclear explosions—indie films usually don’t smack you over the head with sound and violence like action flicks. They are often made of the softer, more subtler stuff of life.
Evan Rachel recognized early on that to be taken seriously, appearing in indie films could be a commendable career choice—even though indie projects might not have all the high-end marquee names and the big budgets attached to them. These types of films often offer plum roles and because they don’t have the budget to draw pricey stars, they instead tend to feature talented up-and-comers who can shine, like Evan Rachel.
13. She played a violinist twice, but she doesn’t play the violin
Okay, so maybe she’s not a full-on method actress—but she never said she was. We can’t expect her to become a violinist for a part. Have you ever tried playing the violin or any string-and-bow instrument? When amateurs play, it sounds like they’re torturing kittens. That crap is hard. The violin is known to be one of the most difficult instruments to become a virtuoso in, so on this one, Evan Rachel gets a pass for not learning to play the violin for real in her films Little Secrets or in the other film in which she plays a violinist (Pretty Persuasion).
What is with her and violins? Ever noticed how close the word violins is to violence? She plays violin more violently in Pretty Persuasions, it is said. She may have acted the part of violinist more than once, but Evan Rachel has never actually learned to play.
12. She was home-schooled
Homeschooling can sometimes be a controversial choice for parents to make. Some folks object to the potential lack of socialization that a home-schooled child would experience, but sometimes, sheltering kids from their awkward, acne-laden mutant counterparts of the world is not necessarily always a bad thing. You can always do play dates and whatnot.
Evan Rachel seemed to come out of her homeschool experience okay. Who needs schoolmates? Who needs to be shoved in their locker on a daily basis and have their lunch money stolen? Not Evan Rachel. She did attend a public school for a time in Cary, North Carolina, but it was mostly through homeschooling that she received her high school diploma at 15 years of age. That is really young for high school graduation but evidently, Evan Rachel has the academic chops to blitz through the standard curriculum at warp speed.
11. She came from an acting family
Sometimes, Hollywood pedigree counts for something. There are acting families like the Fondas (star of classics, Henry Fonda and his offspring, daughter Jane and son Peter, who are both Oscar-winning actors themselves) and the Barrymores (from whence Drew came) and the Douglases (Michael, Kirk and some wannabe brothers you never heard of).
Evan Rachel Wood doesn’t have the same ‘name’ sort of pedigree. Instead, she has the grassroots kind—since her father was the local director of Theater In The Park and in 1987, Evan Rachel made her first acting appearance in their adaptation of A Christmas Carol under his direction. Her mother’s an actress and acting coach, one of Evan Rachel’s brothers is an actor himself and her paternal aunt, Carol Winstead Wood, was a Hollywood production designer. See? Acting is in Evan Rachel’s blood!
10. She played a really bad girl in Thirteen
Evan Rachel’s earlier child star roles were all fairly tame, as she would always play children who were appropriate for their age. The film Thirteen represented a departure for Evan Rachel, and was really her break out movie. In Thirteen, Evan Rachel plays Tracy Freeland, a thirteen-year-old honor student and daughter of a single mother (played by Academy Award winning actress, Holly Hunter).
In the film, Evan Rachel’s character, Tracy Freeland, comes under the strong influence of a Queen Bee bad girl type, Evie Zamora (played in the film by Nikki Reed) and the next thing you know, Miss Honor Student Evan Rachel’s character is smoking cigarettes and weed, wearing thongs, stealing wallets, seducing lifeguards and sniffing computer gas duster cans to get high. Evan Rachel didn’t indulge in any dangerous substances herself on the set though. The cigarettes the girls smoke in the film were filled with catnip and whatever they’re snorting is some crushed up harmless herbal supplement, reportedly.
9. She was an award-nominated actress at a young age and just keeps going
Even at a young age, Evan Rachel was getting noticed and making an impact. You don’t become a success on par with ER by doing things half-assed. Well, a half-assed effort might result in a 15 minutes of fame, but that’s it—for longevity, a lifelong career, you have to keep proving yourself and Evan Rachel has done that. She was nominated for some acting award or another every year from 1999 to 2004, including being nominated for a prestigious Golden Globe for Thirteen, as well as being nominated by the Screen Actors Guild for outstanding performance in a leading role that same year. She’s also been nominated for other awards since 2004, including being nominated for an Emmy for the 2011 remake of the 1945 Joan Crawford classic, Mildred Pierce.
8. She stole Dita Von Teese’s man
In case you don’t know who Dita Von Teese is, she’s a popular, exotic American performer who is basically the personification of sex. She does this burlesque show where she’s mostly nude and splashing around in a champagne glass fit for an inhabitant of Brobdingnag (i.e. those giants from Gulliver’s Travels). Suffice to say, Dita’s super sexy. And we think it’s safe to assume that most heterosexual women would curl up into a fetal position and cry for their mother if Dita was married to their man or was the “other woman” in any romantic rivalry scenario. So, it’s no small feat stealing this woman’s husband, but 18-year-old Evan Rachel managed to do so when she caught Marilyn Manson’s attention while he was still married to Dita.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph regarding her divorce from Manson, Von Teese stated, “I wasn’t supportive of his partying or his relationship with another girl.” That “other girl” was Evan Rachel Wood.
7. Evan Rachel Wood dated Marilyn Manson
Okay, so you probably already knew this. In a way, this was really how Evan Rachel first became known on a global scale, although we’ve always thought it unfair when people say she first became known as Marilyn Manson’s girlfriend. Sure, that’s how she became widely known because he was such a rock star celebrity back when and in 2006, Evan Rachel did bust up Marilyn and Dita’s marriage, but she was already on everyone’s radar for her acting performances—especially after Thirteen—so she deserves more recognition for herself than to just be known as someone else’s girlfriend.
6. Evan Rachel describes their relationship as ‘loving and healthy’
When you think ‘loving and healthy’ relationships, Marilyn Manson is probably not the first person who comes to mind. This rock star ( who passes through life in basically a Halloween costume) has to have issues, right? We, personally, have a theory about famous people who put on these flamboyant, escapist personas—such as Manson, Lady Gaga, or the late, great David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust years—in that it’s the disguise or persona they put on which absorbs some of the pressures of fame and the sensitive, genuine person stays somewhat more intact within. Or some lame, philosophical self-help theory like that. Maybe that’s the guy Evan Rachel got to see. It makes sense to us, at least.
5. That said, she seems to regard their relationship now as a ‘mistake’
Despite the fact that Evan Rachel claimed her relationship with Marilyn Manson was “healthy,” she retrospectively has called it a “mistake,” according to an interview by The Daily Beast done back in 2013. Things seemed tumultuous between them: they were on-again-off-again starting in 2006, broke up in late 2008 and reconciled with an engagement in January of 2010 before calling it all off—officially and permanently—in January 2010. Aaaaand we’ve lost track.
Of her time with Manson, Wood admits that people were “pretty mean” to her then, calling her names while she was out in public, and she said in her Daily Beast interview, “if people were wondering why I was acting so-called crazy or like a teenager, it’s because I was. People go through phases. People make mistakes. People go through life and don’t get it right every time.”
4. Evan Rachel married a fellow child star
Some special friendships can form when two previous child stars come together and make connections in adult life. Look at Liz Taylor and Michael Jackson (for those of you old enough to remember): they formed a platonic, life-long friendship founded in their common trauma of having been a child star. Yup, supporting your entire family when you’re only nine can screw you up.
Evan Rachel actually married a fellow child star. She first met her future husband, Billy Elliot star, Jamie Bell (who starred in Billy Elliot when he was a kid), back when they filmed a Green Day video together in 2005, for the song Wake Me Up When September Ends, and then in a modern-day rite of passage, got matching tattoos of each other’s initials on their ankles (aww) and then got hitched some years later. They have since divorced, but Wood has said of their tattoos and their time together: “(Jamie and I) had matching tattoos because we knew our love would last forever. Trouble is, it didn’t, things happened, we split. But I don’t regret the tattoo. It reminds me of a great, great period in my life.”
3. Evan Rachel had a home birth with her son
Evan Rachel gave birth at home to a baby boy in July 2013. After the birth, she publicly thanked Ricki Lake, director of the documentary about home birthing, The Business of Birthing, as that film inspired her decision to opt for a home birth.
Evan Rachel has not announced the name of her child and fiercely protects his privacy. There are only a couple of pictures found online of her wheeling a carriage. She even took to Twitter before her son was born and asked for privacy from photographers in a series of tweets: “I believe kids should be protected and not public domain,” Evan Rachel tweeted. “When my baby comes I would greatly appreciate no support of any pap photos. It starts with you. Big thanks to anyone who understands and shows their support.”
2. Evan Rachel is ‘gender-fluid’
Evan Rachel realized in her childhood, around age four or five, that she was attracted to women as well as men and she came out as bisexual in 2011. She had always been told by others (and also felt within herself) that bisexuality was just a phase she was going through and something she’d grow out of, but her feelings for both women and men never changed. It was the birth of her son, in 2013, that convinced her to embrace who she really was for the sake of both herself and he, or as Evan Rachel herself is quoted as saying in an interview with People: “I had my son, and that changed everything,” she said. “It got me out of my own shit. I just couldn’t be what I was not.” She even posted a 20-minute video to YouTube about coming out.
1. Evan Rachel is a badass survivor who has found her voice
Evan Rachel speaks of being deeply affected by her parents’ divorce when she was nine, explaining that “any divorce is always horrible.” She’s had to rise up against people calling her nasty names on the street, back while she was in a relationship with Marilyn Manson. In a recent Rolling Stone article, Evan Rachel spoke of past abuse that was “physical, psychological and sexual,” and has recently disclosed two rapes that happened many years ago—one assault at the hands of a significant other and another by a bar owner.
Despite her desire for privacy for herself and her child, she now feels it’s important to speak out and support other rape victims with her disclosure and, as Rachel Evan Wood explains: “I don’t believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer. Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism.” You go, girl.