Evan Rachel Wood

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Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Wood at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1987-09-07) September 7, 1987 (age 33)
  • Actress
  • model
  • musician
Years active1994–present
(m. 2012; div. 2014)

Evan Rachel Wood[1] (born September 7, 1987)[2] is an American actress, model, and musician. She is the recipient of a Critics' Choice Television Award as well as three Primetime Emmy Award nominations and three Golden Globe Award nominations for her work in film and television.

Wood began acting in the 1990s, appearing in several television series, including American Gothic (1995–96) and Once and Again (1999–2002). Wood made her debut as a leading film actress at the age of nine in Digging to China (1997) and garnered acclaim for her Golden Globe-nominated role as the troubled teenager Tracy Freeland in the teen drama film Thirteen (2003).[3] She continued acting mostly in independent films, including Pretty Persuasion (2005), Down in the Valley (2005), Running with Scissors (2006), and Across the Universe (2007).

Since 2008, Wood has appeared in more mainstream films, including The Wrestler (2008), Whatever Works (2009), and The Ides of March (2011). She also returned to television the following year in the recurring role of Sophie-Anne Leclerq, the vampire Queen of Louisiana, on True Blood from 2009 to 2011. She also portrayed the title character’s malicious daughter in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (2011), for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe and Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She stars as sentient android Dolores Abernathy in the HBO series Westworld (2016–present), for which she won a Critics' Choice Award and earned Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations. Wood also voiced Queen Iduna in the Disney animated fantasy film Frozen II (2019).

Early life and family[edit]

Wood was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her mother, Sara Lynn Moore, is an actress, director, and acting coach, who converted to Judaism.[4][5] Her father, Ira David Wood III, is a locally-prominent actor, singer, theater director, and playwright from a Christian family; he is the Executive Director of a local community theatre company called Theatre in the Park.[6][7] Wood's brother, Ira David Wood IV, is also an actor; she has two other brothers, Dana and Thomas, and a sister named Aden. Her paternal aunt, Carol Winstead Wood, was a Hollywood production designer.[8]

Wood and her brothers were actively involved in Theatre in the Park while growing up, including an appearance by her in the 1987 production of her father's musical comedy adaptation of A Christmas Carol when she was just a few months old.[9] Subsequently, she played the Ghost of Christmas Past in several productions at the theater and later starred as Helen Keller alongside her mother (who played Anne Sullivan) in a theatrical production of The Miracle Worker under her father's direction.[10][11] Wood's parents separated in 1996, and later divorced, and Wood moved with her mother to her mother's native Los Angeles County, California.[when?][7][12]

She was awarded a black belt in taekwondo when she was 12 years old.[13] She was subsequently home schooled and received her high school diploma at age 15.[14]


Early work: 1994–2000[edit]

Wood began her career appearing in several made-for-television films from 1994 onward,[15] also playing an occasional role in the television series American Gothic. After a one-season role on the television drama Profiler,[16] Wood was cast in the supporting role of Jessie Sammler on the television show Once and Again.[17]

Wood's first major screen role was in the low-budget 1997 film Digging to China, which also starred Kevin Bacon, Cathy Moriarty, and Mary Stuart Masterson. The film won the Children's Jury Award at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.[18] Wood remembers the role as initially being hard, but notes that it "eventually led to her decision that acting is something she might never want to stop doing."[7] That same year she also had a role in Practical Magic, a fantasy film directed by Griffin Dunne starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.[19]

Breakthrough: 2001–2005[edit]

Wood made her teenage debut as a leading film actress in 2001's Little Secrets, directed by Blair Treu, where she played aspiring 14-year-old concert violinist Emily Lindstrom. For that role, she was nominated for Best Leading Young Actress at the Young Artist Awards.[20] That same year, Wood played a supporting role in the Andrew Niccol-directed science fiction satirical drama film, Simone, which starred Al Pacino.

Wood's breakthrough movie role followed with the 2003 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, 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.[21] A supporting role opposite Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones in Ron Howard's The Missing, in which she played the kidnapped daughter, Lilly Gilkeson, followed the same year, as well as a role in the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode "Got Murder?".

In 2005, Wood appeared in the Mike Binder-directed 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. Her character also narrated the film.[7] Wood's next two starring roles were in dark independent films. In the 2005 Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival nominee Pretty Persuasion, a black comedy/satirical focusing on themes of sexual harassment and discrimination in schools and attitudes about women in media and society, Wood played Kimberly Joyce, a manipulative, sexually active high-schooler. One critic commented, "Wood does flip cynicism with such precise, easy rhythms and with such obvious pleasure in naughtiness that she's impossible to hate."[22]

In Down in the Valley, which was directed by David Jacobson, Wood's character, Tobe, falls in love with an older man, a cowboy who is at odds with modern society (Edward Norton). Of her performance, it was written that "Wood conveys every bit of the adamant certainty and aching vulnerability inherent in late adolescence."[23] Wood has commented on her choice of sexually themed roles, saying that she is not aiming for the "shock factor" in her film choices.[7]

In 2005, Wood starred in the music videos for Bright Eyes' "At the Bottom of Everything"[24] and Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends".[25]

Continued success: 2006–2008[edit]

In September 2006, Wood received Premiere magazine's "Spotlight Award for Emerging Talent."[26] 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."[7]

Later in 2006, 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, the film was based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs, which is a semi-autobiographical account of Burroughs' childhood in a dysfunctional family.

Wood had roles in two films released in September 2007. King of California, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival,[27] a story of a bipolar jazz musician (Michael Douglas) and his long-suffering teenage daughter, Miranda (Wood), who are reunited after his two-year stay in a mental institution and who embark on a quixotic search for Spanish treasure. One review praised Wood's performance as "excellent".[28]

Across the Universe, a Julie Taymor-directed musical that was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award and was set in Liverpool, New York City, and Vietnam, focused on the tribulations of several characters during the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s. It was set to the songs of The Beatles. Wood, who has described the music of The Beatles as a major part of her life, played Lucy, who develops a relationship with Jude (Jim Sturgess).[29] The film featured her singing musical numbers, and she describes the role as her favorite, calling director Julie Taymor "one of the most amazing directors out there."[30] One critic wrote that "Wood brings much-needed emotional depth."[31] Wood provided the voice of an alien named Mala, a mechanically inclined free-thinker, in Battle for Terra, a 2008 computer-animated science fiction film about a peaceful alien planet that faces destruction from colonization by the displaced remainder of the human race. The film won the 2008 Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The film showed at the San Francisco International Film Festival, where she received an award at the Midnight Awards along with Elijah Wood.[32]

Wood starred 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. One critic cited her performance as "hands-down extraordinary".[33] Wood stated that she intended the film to be the last one in which she played a teenager.[34]

In the same year, she also co-starred 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. Wood played Stephanie, Robinson's estranged daughter. Of her performance, one critic wrote, "Once her character stops stonewalling her father and hears him out, Wood provides a fine foil for Rourke in their turbulent scenes together."[35]

Further film and television career: 2009–present[edit]

Wood at the premiere of Whatever Works in April 2009

Wood co-starred in Woody Allen's Whatever Works, which premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, playing the young wife of Larry David's character.[36] She later expressed regret for taking the role and that she would not work with Allen again.[37] In May 2009, she played Juliet in six fundraising performances of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Theater In The Park; the production was directed by her brother, who also starred.[38]

Wood had a recurring role in the second and third seasons of the HBO supernatural drama series, True Blood, from 2009 to 2011 as Sophie-Anne Leclerq.[39] Wood had a role in the film The Conspirator, which premiered at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. in April 2011, directed by Robert Redford (about the conspiracy surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln). She also had a role in The Ides of March.[40] She portrayed the title character's daughter in the 2011 HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.[41]

Wood played Gabi in the 2013 psychological romantic thriller film Charlie Countryman with Shia LaBeouf and Rupert Grint.[42] She voiced Marianne in the 2015 film Strange Magic. She was featured with Chris Evans in a 2016 ad for Gucci Guilty Eau fragrances.[43]

Since 2016, Wood has starred as sentient android Dolores Abernathy in the HBO science fiction Western series Westworld. Her performance has been praised as "spectacular",[44] "tour-de-force, turn-on-a-dime",[45] as well as "a tremendous technical achievement".[46]

In August 2019, Wood announced on Twitter and D23 Expo that she was cast to voice Queen Iduna in Frozen II.[47][48] The film was released in November 2019 to commercial success.[49]


In 2012, Wood recorded "I'd Have You Anytime" which is on the fourth CD of Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, a compilation production for the benefit of the organization.[50] She performed as electro-pop duo, Rebel and a Basketcase, with multi-instrumentalist Zach Villa in 2016.[51][52][53] The duo disbanded in August 2017.[54] Wood is one-half of cover band Evan + Zane, which she formed with guitarist/singer-songwriter Zane Carney in 2018.[55][56]

Wood appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in 2019 when "Show Yourself", the duet she sang alongside Idina Menzel from the Frozen II soundtrack, debuted on the chart at number 99.[57] The song peaked at number 70.[58]

Humanitarian work[edit]

In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting; in the video, Wood and others told the stories of the people killed there.[59][60]

Personal life[edit]


Wood has said, "My mother is Jewish and I was raised with the religion."[61] In 2012, she stated, "I believe in God but I am not religious. I am spiritual. My definition of God isn't in any religion. It's very personal."[62]


Wood began dating English actor Jamie Bell for a year in 2005 after they met at the Sundance Film Festival. Wood was aware of the false claims that they had first met while co-starring in the music video for Green Day's song "Wake Me Up When September Ends" and has stated they were "already dating and very much in love by that point."[63]

In January 2007, Wood's relationship with rock musician Marilyn Manson became public.[64] She is the inspiration behind Manson's song "Heart-Shaped Glasses", and appeared in the song's music video.[34] In January 2010, Wood and Manson became engaged.[65] They ended their engagement seven months later.[66]

In 2011, Wood disclosed that she is bisexual via Twitter,[67][68] and discussed her sexuality in an interview with Esquire, saying, "I'm up for anything. Meet a nice guy, meet a nice girl..."[69] The same year Wood rekindled her relationship with Bell, five years after they first broke up.[70] They were married in a small ceremony on October 30, 2012,[71] and have one son, born on July 29, 2013.[72] Wood had a home birth with her son, and publicly thanked Ricki Lake, creator of the documentary The Business of Being Born, for inspiring her decision.[73] In May 2014, Wood and Bell announced that they had separated after 19 months of marriage.[74]

By 2017, Wood was in a relationship with her Rebel and a Basketcase bandmate, Zach Villa.[75] They were engaged in January 2017 but they called off the engagement in September 2017.[76][77]

Allegations of abuse, Phoenix Act[edit]

In 2016, Wood told a Rolling Stone reporter she had been raped twice years ago, once by a "significant other".[78][79] In February 2018, she testified before the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights Act.[80] In April 2019, she testified before the California Senate to help pass the Phoenix Act, which extended the statute of limitations in domestic-violence cases from three to five years and requires police to have additional training.[81] In her testimony, Wood said the abuse she experienced had been physical, sexual and emotional, and that she had subsequently been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.[82][83]

The media speculated that Wood was discussing Marilyn Manson, with whom she had been in a relationship from 2006 to 2010.[84] In November 2020, a representative for Manson released a statement: "Unfortunately, we live in a time where people believe what they read on the Internet, and feel free to say what they want with no actual evidence. The effects can be catastrophic and promoting non fact based information is wholly irresponsible."[85] In February 2021, Wood named Manson as her alleged abuser on Instagram,[86] where four other women made similar allegations against him.[87] The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said they were investigating Manson due to allegations of domestic violence.[88]

Kobe Bryant controversy[edit]

In January 2020, Wood faced a significant media and online backlash after calling the then-recently deceased former NBA athlete Kobe Bryant a "rapist".[89] This was in reference to Bryant being charged with sexual assault in 2003. The charges were dropped after the victim refused to testify and the case was later settled out of court. Wood made the comments on Twitter hours after his death on January 26.[90]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Digging to China Harriet Frankovitz
1998 Practical Magic Kylie Owens
1998 Detour Daniella Rogers
2001 Little Secrets Emily Lindstrom
2002 Simone Lainey Christian
2003 Thirteen Tracy Louise Freeland
2003 The Missing Lily Gilkeson
2005 Pretty Persuasion Kimberly Joyce
2005 The Upside of Anger Lavender "Popeye" Wolfmeyer
2005 Down in the Valley October "Tobe"
2006 Asterix and the Vikings Abba (voice) English version
2006 Shark Bait Cordelia (voice)
2006 Running with Scissors Natalie Finch
2007 King of California Miranda
2007 The Life Before Her Eyes Young Diana McFee
2007 Battle for Terra Mala (voice)
2007 Across the Universe Lucy Carrigan
2008 The Wrestler Stephanie Ramzinski
2009 Whatever Works Melodie St. Ann Celestine
2010 The Conspirator Anna Surratt
2011 The Ides of March Molly Stearns
2013 Charlie Countryman Gabi Ibanescu
2013 A Case of You Birdie Hazel
2014 Barefoot Daisy Kensington
2015 Strange Magic Marianne (voice)
2015 Into the Forest Eva
2017 Allure Laura Drake
2018 Flavors of Youth Yi Lin (voice) Segment: "Chiisana Fashion Show"
English version
2019 Frozen II Queen Iduna (voice)
2020 Kajillionaire Old Dolio Dyne
2020 Showbiz Kids Self Documentary
2020 Viena and the Fantomes Susi


Year Title Role Notes
1994 In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness Little Susie Television film
1994 Search for Grace Young Sarah / Robin Television film
1995 A Father for Charlie Tessa Television film
1995 Death in Small Doses Anna Television film
1995–96 American Gothic Rose Russell 3 episodes
1997 Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story Jaime Dudney - Age 8 Television film
1998–99 Profiler Chloe Waters 6 episodes
1999 Down Will Come Baby Robin Garr Television film
1999–2002 Once and Again Jessie Sammler Main cast; 55 episodes
2000 Touched by an Angel Sarah Radcliff Episode: "Pandora's Box"
2002 The West Wing Hogan Cregg Episode: "The Black Vera Wang"
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nora Easton Episode: "Got Murder?"
2009–11 True Blood Sophie-Anne Leclerq 8 episodes
2011 Mildred Pierce Veda Pierce Miniseries; 2 episodes
2013 Robot Chicken Girl / Mother (voice) Episode: "Botched Jewel Heist"
2015 Doll & Em Evan 5 episodes
2016–present Westworld Dolores Abernathy Main role; 3 seasons
2018–19 Drunk History Various 2 episodes
2019 What We Do in the Shadows Evan the Immortal Episode: "The Trial"

Music video[edit]

Year Title Singer Ref(s)
2005 "Wake Me Up When September Ends" Green Day [91]
2005 "At the Bottom of Everything" Bright Eyes [92]
2007 "Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)" Marilyn Manson [93]
2010 "Love Me Chase Me" Carney
2012 "I'd Have You Anytime" Herself [50]
2015 "Can't Deny My Love" Brandon Flowers [94]
2019 "Uneventful Days" Beck
2020 "Can I Be Your Friend ft. Evan Rachel Wood" Chevy Mustang [95]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Award Ref(s)
1999 Practical Magic Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film: Supporting Young Actress Nominated
Down Will Come Baby YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Mini: Series/Made for TV Film Nominated
2000 Profiler Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Drama Series: Supporting Young Actress Nominated
Once and Again YoungStar Awards Best Young Actress/Performance in a Drama TV Series Nominated
2001 Young Artist Awards Best Ensemble in a TV Series (Drama or Comedy) Won
2002 Little Secrets Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film: Leading Young Actress Nominated
2003 The Missing Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film: Leading Young Actress Nominated
Thirteen Bratislava International Film Festival Special Mention Award Won
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Nominated
2004 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Youth in Film Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role: Female Nominated
Breakthrough Performance: On Screen Won
Prism Awards Performance in a Theatrical Feature Film Won
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film: Leading Young Actress Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Female Performance Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Young Actor/Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
2008 The Wrestler Utah Film Critics Association Best Supporting Performance by an Actress Nominated
2011 Mildred Pierce Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
2012 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
The Ides of March Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Ensemble Nominated
2016 Westworld Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Drama Series Won
2017 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Herself HRC North Carolina Gala HRC Visibility Award[96] Won
2018 Westworld Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nominated


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