"I couldn't handle all the attention when I was younger, but I feel like I'm in a place where I'm not going to collapse under the pressure."Dolores, a heroine who seems poised to drop her damsel-in-distress trappings and be actually heroic (or as Wood puts it, "bad-ass"), is a different type of role for an actor whose career has largely trafficked in shock factor or subversiveness or both.Forget the baby-blue eyes or the long-limbed gracefulness that seems very Old Hollywood and hearken instead back to 2003, when Wood's portrayal of a teenage terror in Thirteen led the better part of a generation to question whether it was a good idea to participate in the propagation of the human race."The showrunners and HBO warned me, ' You know, your life's probably going to change after this,'" she says.Strange advice to give someone who has been in the business for more than 20 years, but correct nonetheless.
At age five, she was cast in a movie of the week, which led to an audition for Interview With a Vampire. A few years later, starring with her mom in a production of The Miracle Worker that was directed by her father was "the equivalent of being given a pony," but Wood's parents divorced when she was nine, giving her plenty of grief to pull from professionally ("Any divorce is always horrible"). At 14, she booked Thirteen, ushering in fame and its ways of messing with a young mind. "Any child actor will tell you that you don't have a lot of the tools or the experience to combat a lot of the criticism or very adult situations being thrown at you."So Wood did what made sense at the time: At 18, she went to the Chateau Marmont, met Marilyn Manson (then 36 and married to Dita Von Teese), started dating him, and subsequently appeared, Lolita-like, in a video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses," groping her nether region and then making out with Manson as fake blood rains upon them in a video so graphic that the sex was rumored to have been real (she says it wasn't).In fact, she seems so grounded that I can't help but later ask if, considering her own history, it has been hard to play a character who is abused and brutalized."The thing about Westworld is we don't actually show any act of rape," she replies.It was astonishing to us." Showrunner Lisa Joy agrees: "And this is kind of not just one role, it's many roles and personas at the same time.She can flip it on a dime." Certainly, it's safe to say that Wood's talents would be lost on playing someone rosy and uncomplicated.These are all things, she says, that she has experienced since she realized at age four or five she was attracted to women. 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.") When she's tried to break this down, she's kept coming back to her bisexuality.Her suicide attempt at 22 "was, weirdly, the best-worst thing that ever happened to me. "It was always talked about like a phase or something stupid, or something you were doing for attention," she says. And I didn't realize how damaging that was until I tried to have healthy relationships as an adult and realized that there was still all this shame and conditioning and stigma around my sexuality that was really affecting the way I related to people.Former child star fought bad romances and anti-LGBTQ prejudice before channeling her craziness into paranoid-android role – and rebooting her life It's raining something biblical in Nashville, coming down like vengeance between the roadway signs for chicken wings and Jesus and Donald Trump. When Wood first met with showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, she wasn't told much of what would happen to her character, but she was told a lot about the world in which it would happen and the existential questions Dolores would pose – both to herself and the viewers. 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.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 this is all bullshit? This is because Westworld has been, by most accounts, a breakout success." – once it became clear that her original plan for the day, going zip-lining, was cursed by the rain.She says she was up most of last night obsessively making a schedule on a chalkboard wall for her son, and that when it comes to dating, having a kid "is a great bullshit filter." In addition to being a fresh start, her move to Nashville, just after wrapping the first season of Westworld, was a bid to give him "grass to run around on and some Southern roots and some kind of normalcy" in a town where she could ostensibly fly under the radar.