Evan Rachel Wood has been a famous actress for half of her life.
Now 30, she first gained fame for her breakout leading role in 2003’s “Thirteen,” which snagged her a Golden Globe nomination.
After that film’s success, she continued to appear in smaller independent films. Toward the later 2000s, her roles made her more high-profile thanks to meaty stints in Oscar-nominated films including “The Wrestler” and “The Ides of March.”
Now, she’s one of the best actors on television, starring on HBO’s “Westworld” as Dolores Abernathy, a dangerous host with free will, and a primary anti-hero in the second season, airing now on HBO.
Wood is also an activist for women’s rights, an outspoken victim of sexual assault, and an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Here’s how Wood’s career has blossomed over the past two decades:
Evan Rachel Wood was born September 7, 1987 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Both of Wood’s parents are actors, and her father runs a local theater company. Wood and her siblings would act in the productions at her father’s theater as kids.
When Wood’s parents got divorced in the 90s, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and began pursuing an acting career. She had a recurring role on “American Gothic,” “Profiler,” and “Once and Again,” and also had roles in TV movies.
Wood’s TV roles led to parts in big movies including “Practical Magic” and “Digging to China.”
Wood has said that the 1998 film, “Digging to China,” which starred Kevin Bacon, was the project that made her realize she wanted to be an actress for the rest of her life.
In 2003, Wood starred in the film “Thirteen,” opposite Nikki Reed and Holly Hunter.
“Thirteen” is about a thirteen-year-old girl who begins to experiment with drugs, sex, and crime. The film gained momentum after premiering at Sundance, and Wood was nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for best actress in a drama. The low-budget film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, was primarily shot with handheld cameras.
After the success of “Thirteen,” Wood continued to work on independent films including “The Upside of Anger” with Kevin Costner and Joan Allen, and “Pretty Persuasion,” which focused on themes of sexual harassment and discrimination in schools.
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