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Evan Rachel Wood Interview Magazine

Evan Rachel Wood Interview Magazine

RB :: What was Julie Taymor like?
ERW :: She’s one of those directors who give
the craziest directions. And you’re just looking at her like, "You know what? I totally trust you, so I’m just going to go and do my job." There’s this scene where I fall in love. I’m with the lead actor, and we’re falling in love. Sometimes the camera would be close up, like, on my back. Julie would go, "I need you to fall in love with your shoulders. I need to see it in your shoulders." And I’d be like, "With my what?" But when you watched the playback, it would work. That was my favorite direction: "Fall in love with your shoulders."
RB :: It sounds like it was very physical.
ERW :: She’s very particular about how everything looks, and she’d be like, "What are you doing with your hands? Don’t do that. Don’t ever do that again." [laughs]

Evan Rachel Wood is a young woman who charms big-name actors, directors, and photographers; she’s a sun-drenched valley girl who can express love with her shoulders; she rides horses and understands the secret emotional lives of cowboys. Could anything about her be more all-American or more golden?  ERW is interviewed by Roberto Benabib (RB), a creative force behind the Showtime series Weeds, in the May 2006 issue of Interview Magazine.  Read the full article after the jump!

UPDATE :: High quality scans added to the gallery!

http://cdn02.cdn.justjared.comevan-rachel-wood-interview-magazine00.jpg
"A script can just be a blueprint, and you’ve got to go in and
build it and color it in and paint it."  — Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood

By: Roberto Benanin

Interview Magazine May 2006

ROBERTO BENABIB :: I hear you’re going to Berlin.
EVAN RACHEL WOOD ::
Me?
RB :: That’s what someone said. You’re not? [Wood laughs] I was going to say that sounds so Cabaret.
ERW ::
I wish I were going to Berlin. I’ve never been there. It’s on my list.
RB :: [laughs] I have too many places on my list. Let’s talk about Down in the Valley, because it’s a really interesting project. Reading the script must have been quite an experience.
ERW :: Definitely. I actually got a call from my mom, because I was out of town when the script came. She was like, "This new script arrived, and Edward Norton’s attached to it." He’s one of my favorite actors, so right away I was like, "Of course I’ll read it."
RB :: As I was watching the movie, I was thinking how Edward’s character Harlan represents America, in a way, and how the charm turns ugly. You know, the myths that kill us, that sort of thing. Your character, Tobe, seems very lonely and full of despair, and, with her, it’s how the myths can seduce you.
ERW :: Well, that really hits the nail on the head. Tobe was written as this kind of rebellious teenager, and I didn’t really think that was quite right. I mean, she is longing for something special to happen to her because she’s stuck in this routine, then she meets a guy who seems so amazing. He’s in this fantasyland, and she gets sucked into it.
RB :: That’s similar to the situation our own country seems to be in. We’re very desperate right now. During the last few years the country has fallen for false promises, and that’s taken us to a dangerous place.
ERW :: I don’t really want to be so bold as to suggest that it happens everywhere, but there’s always going to be bull.
RB :: It’s very seductive.
ERW :: Oh, definitely.
RB :: Watching the film, we get suckered into it as Tobe does.
ERW :: And then the movie bashes you over the head, [laughs]
RB :: Let’s talk about the Culkin dynasty. Every time I turn around there’s another Culkin. [Wood laughs]
ERW :: I love that kid. I had such a good time on the set with Rory.
RB :: Did you develop a big-sister relationship with him? I mean, you just want to adopt him, don’t you?
ERW :: It was kind of like that, but he’s older than he looks. We went to the Coachella music festival and saw the Pixies and Radiohead. It was his first concert.
RB :: Did you grow up in the Valley?
ERW :: Yeah, I did. I could walk to most of the shoot locations from my house.
RB :: Is it a place that makes you feel a little off-center sometimes?
ERW :: Um, it’s very quiet and mellow, and I guess some people get frustrated because there isn’t a lot to do. [laughs] But I don’t have anything against it.
RB :: Do westerns resonate with your generation, or are they a little foreign to young people? Because they seem to have died out, in a way.
ERW :: Westerns definitely mean a lot to me.
RB :: Is it the lifestyle or the actual movies?
ERW :: Both. I’ve been riding horses since I was little, and my mom is big into westerns and horses and cowboys.  It’s like cowboys are just their own race. You never meet anybody else like them. Even if they’re mean, they’re charming, because they’ve got this hardness to them, but then you see them with their horses, see how much they love them, how much they take care of them, how gentle and sweet they can be.
RB :: Tell me about Down in the Valley director David Jacobson.
ERW :: You know, this movie is his baby. Sometimes it can be really hard working with directors who wrote the script because they want the film to be exactly the way they envisioned it, but David wanted it to be very natural. We had two weeks of rehearsal before the movie, and he would look at me and go, "You’re a 17-year-old girl that lives in the Valley. I’m not going to give you too much direction ’cause I think you can relate to this pretty well." He would ask me if the teenagers’ dialogue was right and what I would say. It was really fun.
RB :: Have you worked with directors who were the opposite?
ERW :: Oh, definitely. It can be really frustrating.
RB :: They hear a certain rhythm in their head, and it may not be your rhythm, meaning it may not be the character’s rhythm. What do you do in such a situation?
ERW :: [laughs] You have to grin and bear it. You just got to do the best you can, and at the end of the day say, "Oh, my God. I can’t believe this person won’t let me do anything!"
RB :: I once read an interview of a director who said that actors come up to him and tell him, "My character wouldn’t do that." The director’s reply is, "What makes you think it’s your character?" [Wood laughs] That’s very cold, but at the same time—
ERW :: He’s got a point. But a script sometimes can just be a blueprint, and then you’ve got to go in and build it and color it in and paint it. So that might be a little harsh.
RB :: What are you doing now?
ERW :: I’m taking a break. I just got off of an eight-month shoot in New York.
RB :: Did you enjoy the city?
ERW :: I really, really liked it. And I turned 18 while I was filming there.
RB :: What was the movie?
ERW :: It’s a Beatles musical. Julie Taymor directed it. I know what people think when they hear "Beatles musical," but it’s not going to be what they expect. It’s a really crazy, abstract, bizarre, trippy movie.
RB :: Do you sing in it?
ERW :: I had to sing, and sing live! Julie Taymor takes no prisoners.
RB :: That must be frightening.
ERW :: It was horrifying! The first time I had to sing on the set, I was shaking, and my voice was shaking. There are so many things you have to think about :: You have to try to not screw up John Lennon’s song, act really dramatically and really well, and get the choreography and the blocking right.
RB :: Who else is in it?
ERW :: They cast a lot of unknowns, but we’ve got a lot of cameos. Bono sings, and so do Eddie Izzard and Joe Cocker.
RB :: That must have been very cool. That’s the kind of set you don’t want to leave.
ERW :: Dude, it was the most emotional goodbye ever! Everybody was bawling, and all the cast members got a tattoo to remember the movie.
RB :: What was Julie Taymor like?
ERW :: She’s one of those directors who give
the craziest directions. And you’re just looking at her like, "You know what? I totally trust you, so I’m just going to go and do my job." There’s this scene where I fall in love. I’m with the lead actor, and we’re falling in love. Sometimes the camera would be close up, like, on my back. Julie would go, "I need you to fall in love with your shoulders. I need to see it in your shoulders." And I’d be like, "With my what?" But when you watched the playback, it would work. That was my favorite direction: "Fall in love with your shoulders."
RB :: It sounds like it was very physical.
ERW :: She’s very particular about how everything looks, and she’d be like, "What are you doing with your hands? Don’t do that. Don’t ever do that again." [laughs]
RB :: What did it look like on paper, when you read the script?
ERW :: There’s only about 30 minutes of dialogue in the movie. It wasn’t until we all got to New York and sat down like kindergartners on the floor and let Julie tell us what she was going to do with the movie that it really hit us, just the scale of everything, and how insane the movie was gonna be.
RB :: You seem to have an affinity for films that are sort of, uh, different.
ERW :: There are too many movies that are exactly the same. I mean, people just don’t really expect movies to be that good anymore. The majority of them are just prepackaged, like, conveyor-belt movies.
RB :: There’s some quote about how we now have the technology to say more and more to each other, but all we’re doing is using it to say less and less.
ERW :: Exactly! You get lazier. Jaws [1975] was such an amazing movie because the frigging shark wouldn’t work, and they couldn’t film it! You know? If it were done now, they’d use a computer-generated shark instead, and it wouldn’t be at all terrifying. We would forget about it in, like, five minutes.
RB :: After all of these great projects, are you unexcited about more conventional films?
ERW :: It was weird coming off the Beatles thing and reading scripts and thinking, Wait a minute. Where are the Blue Meanies? And where are the songs? It’s really hard to compare scripts once you’ve done your dream project. But I’m not that bored. It can be frustrating, because you’ve got these scripts in front of you that are absolutely amazing, and they’ve moved you, and you can’t stop thinking about them, and then you see all the movies playing in theaters, and you’re like, "How did some of this stuff get made?" You get a script that’s not very good, and they’re offering you millions of dollars, but you think, Okay, this script is so bad, I won’t even do it for a million dollars. That’s bad. And then it gets to No. 1 at the box office, and people ask, "Don’t you regret not doing that?" Not really.
RB :: The idea is that being in the "big hit" allows you to make small films. But maybe that’s not really the case.
ERW :: Yeah, I keep getting told that if you do the blockbuster, then you can get these other movies made. But somehow I just can’t bring myself to do it.
RB :: Well, it was really lovely talking with you. Good luck not going to Berlin.
ERW :: [laughs] Thanks!

Roberto Benabib is a creative force behind the Showtime series Weeds.

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  • Rachel

    i remember watching her in a movie called little secrets and i thought she was as good as those a-listers like hilary duff and lindsay lohan. i think she’s really down-to-earth and humble. pretty underrated too!

  • marine

    I really like this girl, one of the few actresses of her generation who can act! And she’s so pretty

  • tangypeppermint

    She reminds me of Reese Witherspoon, a genuine actress with a heart of gold.I wonder if she got a tattoo as well…?

  • missi

    I love this actress. So talented!

  • missi

    And I wish the dita naysayers would just see these pictures just so they know Evan is not a wannabe. She was dressing like that a long time before, duh, and she looks gorgeous

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