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After all, Wood proved exceptionally authentic as Tracy, Thirteen’s anarchically precocious teen protagonist dangerously in thrall to the holy trinity of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.
Her embodiment of wasted adolescence felt way too effortless and lived in; it was the realness of Wood’s performance, rather than the jerky hand-held cinematography that gave Thirteen the scent of documentary reportage.
She blazes through Allen’s existential malaise with blonde naïveté, innocent sexuality and an omnipresent grin.
“I was not surprised by Evan’s comic timing,” Allen says. She just has it built in.” Melody’s note-perfect Southern accent was built in, too.
My goal was to bring them back.” Marilyn Manson helped her with this, not only by writing an ode to his young (then) love called “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” but by directing a controversial accompanying video where Manson and Wood erotically cavort in flagrante in a sea of crimson viscera.
(Manson has claimed that Wood’s role made her the highest-paid actress in a music video, ever.) “We just made it into something that we could be creatively fulfilled by and totally proud of, and you know, laugh about,” Wood explains with a smile. So much of it is for our own enjoyment.” In person, Wood appears as a portrait of the artist as a young Goth, albeit in high style—it’s a look that might be described as insane punk elegance.
“She’d joke around the set like a 12 year-old, but as soon as I said ‘action’ she could go immediately to the deepest emotional level,” explains Catherine Hardwicke, who, in 2003, directed Wood in the acclaimed, controversial teen-angst film .
But while visually she might convey the dusky hauteur of a graveyard girl, Wood’s infectious charisma dispels any gloom.
“I had grown up around adults, but I was a teenager,” she says now, “and I was struggling between the two.” As such, many of her roles have an intentional Lolita quality, a reference that reflects back to the obsession with the Nabokov novel she’s had since she was a kid.
“My mom would say, ‘I’m not paying for home school so that you can read trash like Lolita.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? Would you prefer I read every day, down to the sex icon’s trademark heart-shaped glasses, a come-hither accessory she has become a devoted collector of. “My apartment is covered with different kinds of heart-shaped glasses.
We’re certainly not sleeping together; it’s not true.” It’s not that the public was convinced this mercurial Bohemian beauty and Rourke were an item between the sheets; it’s that, from her own turbulent, “Are they together or are they not?
” romance with Manson to her risky film choices, a rumble with Rourke seemed like something she might do out of sheer perversity.