Evan Rachel Wood could have floated through this industry by being an all-American girl. At one time, she had the long blonde hair, the most perfect skin you will ever lay your eyes on, and a thousand watt smile, but instead, she went for the jugular. From playing Mickey Rourke’s abandoned and fragile daughter in The Wrestler to a fever dream-like protagonist in Across The Universe, Wood has become a strong force for women burdened with pain.
Upon sitting down with the actress, it becomes increasingly obvious that Evan Rachel Wood can only be her vivacious self and that includes not bending to an industry that is often unforgiving towards women. It’s this confidence that allows Wood to take on bold, complex characters, and maintain the stamina to weave herself in and out of diverse roles effortlessly.
For her latest film, Charlie Countryman, Evan acts opposite method actor Shia LaBeouf in a dreamscape feature of sorts. This time around the actress impressively sports a thick Romanian accent as she plays Gabi, a character who wears the history of Romania and her own dark life on her face. After watching his own mother pass away from cancer, Gabi comes into the picture as part of Charlie Countryman’s (Shia LaBeouf) journey to Bucharest. A film that interlinks fate, love, and gruesome violence, Gabi is immediately introduced as a person in a vulnerable state after Charlie shared a plane ride with her father who passed away during the flight. Throughout the film the two are entangled in an embroiled infatuation, despite Gabi being in a controlling marriage with a violent man.
Evan Rachel Wood sat down for a roundtable chat with The Inquisitr’s Niki Cruz to speak about her emotional range, motherhood, and working with bad boy Shia LaBeouf.
THE INQUISITR: How’s motherhood treating you?
EVAN RACHEL WOOD: It’s everything. It was my dream to be a mom, so I’m loving it. These past couple of days I’ve been having separation anxiety because I’m so used to him being right here all the time. It’s strange. They kind of become a part of you.
THE INQUISITR: Pregnancy in Hollywood and getting the weight off is always such a huge “thing.”
WOOD: I hate that it’s a thing. I ate every two hours, I had lots of protein, I walked every day, I gave into cravings, but then I tried to stay as healthy as possible. I did prenatal yoga and stuff like that. I just stayed active and healthy during the pregnancy. I just have good genes. I’m breastfeeding too so nature works pretty perfectly.
THE INQUISITR: Shia LaBeouf has a reputation for being a bad boy on and off set. What was it like working with him?
WOOD: Everyone asks but I had a great experience working with him. I think he was insanely dedicated and took what he did so seriously. He was willing to go as far as was needed to go to give a great performance. I admired him for that.
THE INQUISITR: There was talk about Shia really being on acid during that scene in the hostel. Did you have to go that far?
WOOD: My role didn’t call for it luckily [Laughs]. I wasn’t even there that day and so I heard about it afterwards, but if he did do that I just think it’s because he’s a perfectionist and he wasn’t doing it to have a good time. I think he was so nervous and wanted the scene to be as real as possible, and that’s Shia! He’s just dedicated! [Laughs]
THE INQUISITR: How did you prep to play the cello?
WOOD: I had a great girl teach me cello once I got to Romania. It was much harder than I thought it was going to be. [Laughs] Unfortunately some things got lost in translation while I was having my lessons. I was given a song to learn and I showed up for a big scene, where her father has just died, and she’s crying, and playing with the orchestra, and I got there on set one day and I started playing and the rest of the orchestra was playing a different song! I had learned the completely wrong thing and it was the last day. The director looked at me so apologetically and said, “Can you just look out of the corner of your eye and mimic the person next to you?” And I was like, “Are you serious!? It’s one of the most important scenes!” Somehow it worked.
THE INQUISITR: You play such a strong character. Did you have any conversations prior to filming?
WOOD: Yeah! We talked a lot, but I think the best thing, and I think Shia would agree, is just spending time in Bucharest and just immersing yourself in the city. It’s about getting to know the women there, because it gives you a lot of insight. I had everything to draw from around me all the time.
THE INQUISITR: It must have been so different culturally.
WOOD: It is, but you know what, they were really great to us. Our Romanian crew was amazing. Their work ethic was insane. It’s a place that has been through a lot. Their history is violent and it’s made them stronger. It’s given them a lot of character.
THE INQUISITR: You have such a striking look in this film. Did you enjoy rocking the red hair?
WOOD: When I read the description of the character it said that she’s got the aim of Annie Oakley and Ziggy Stardust hair, I was like, “I’m in! This character sounds amazing! I want to do this!” A lot of the girls in Romania have that color. I didn’t know until I got there why they asked me to dye it that color red and then I went, “Oh. That’s the thing there!” I really loved having that hair for a while. I took full advantage of it.
THE INQUISITR: You play such diverse characters, so is it hard for you to peel off a character at the end of the day?
WOOD: Sometimes. Especially when it’s a really dark role. I know when I did Mildred Pierce that role took me a couple of months to decompress from because it was so dark. I always tell people that I just throw on Family Guy and it takes me back to reality and to normalcy. Anything can be going on in my life and that show comes on and everything is right with the world. [Laughs]
THE INQUISITR: How do you feel about social media? I saw you have the f–kyeahevanrwood Tumblr page for your bio on Twitter.
WOOD: Oh yeah! I think it’s fun! Someone showed that to me one day and I thought it was hilarious. They’re always updating with news and photos, so I said, “I’m just going to make that my official page!” I love social media. I was really against Twitter for a long time. I was amazed by how much positive stuff that you get. I was certain that people were going to say mean and crazy things the whole time, but you just block them and it’s over. I’m so up to date on news now. I get lots of opinions and you start conversations — there’s way too much power in that thing!
Check out Evan Rachel Wood in action:
CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN hits theaters today in limited release.