They call it Girl Culture. It’s everywhere in America today -- in schools and malls, on television and all over popular magazines – girls in barely-there midriffs and towering spike heels, sporting tattoos and fashion runway makeup, strutting their stuff and living hard and fast long before they’re anywhere near 18.
These independent, ambitious girls are a far cry from the repressed, pretty-in-pink generations of the past. But what does it mean that just at the age when girls are most vulnerable, when they are first developing a hard-won sense of self-confidence and forming the first layers of fragile identities, that they spend huge amounts of energy (and cash) trying to become an abstract ideal of hip, cool, thin, sexy and ready for anything?
Many sociologists and family therapists have raised alarms about Girl Culture and its effects on adolescents suddenly thrust into a relentless world of consumerism, sex, drugs and aggression. There have always been teenagers at the extremes of culture, but now the extremes have become the norm, and even the best and brightest kids are getting caught up in the frenzy to fit into the image-conscious microcosm of junior high.
THIRTEEN director Catherine Hardwicke came face to face with Girl Culture and its insidious power to impact a young girl’s life when she dated a man with a prepubescent daughter. Hardwicke and the boyfriend broke up, but she continued to hang out with his daughter, Nikki Reed. When Reed turned 13, Hardwicke saw a dramatic, and disquieting, change in her. Reed became unfathomably angry, uncommunicative, secretive. She began spending literally hours every morning fine-tuning her appearance as if she were preparing for a major screen-role every day, as if her very chances in life hinged on her looks.
Concerned, Hardwicke began spending even more time with Reed, trying to inspire an interest in the arts, or anything that would excite her about real life again. When Reed showed a passion for acting and film, Hardwicke encouraged that. She decided to share one of her own dreams with Reed: to write and direct a screenplay. A highly regarded production designer, Hardwicke had long been using her hours on the set to soak up knowledge about making movies from a series of lauded directors.
At first, the two sat down to write a light-hearted teen comedy, but as Hardwicke probed Reed for specific details about what teen life is really like right now, a much more riveting story emerged: the true tale of what Reed experienced when she hit junior high at full speed. Reed began revealing a world fueled by confusion, anger, rebellion and fear of not fitting in; a world rife with sex, high fashion, eating disorders, shoplifting, self-mutilation and drugs. Hardwicke was floored.
“All of this stuff began pouring out,” recalls Reed, “about all the unexplainable stuff that happens – how hard I kicked away from my mom, how much looks began to matter, how images are shoved down your throat, how hard it gets to tell real love from fake love -- and we both began to realize that there was something really important going on in this story.”
“I started off by wanting to know what girls really talk about,” comments Hardwicke, “and when Nikki started opening up it became a lot more interesting, and daring, than any teen plot we could imagine. I began to add to her story my own observations of her mom, who, like the character Mel, is a hairdresser, and issues that I talked to her parents about and all this stuff combined into something I had never anticipated. As we would write scenes, Nikki and I would act them out, and right away I knew there was something very alive and powerful in the story that was unfolding.”
Hardwicke and Reed wrote the first draft of the script in just six days, while Reed was on winter vacation. Reed went back to school but now Hardwicke was on fire. “I was in a hurry because I realized I needed to make this film by the summer because I wanted Nikki to be in it, and I wanted her to still be close to 13 years old, plus I wanted to make it when school wasn’t in session because I certainly didn’t want to add to her pressures,” the director recalls.
Hardwicke brought the project to the attention of two producers: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, with whom she had recently worked as a production designer on the acclaimed LAUREL CANYON; and Michael London, whose credits include 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS. Both were caught off guard by the material.
London saw Hardwicke at a party the night she finished the script. “She had this euphoric, ravaged look on her face,” he recalls, “and when she explained why, I asked her for a copy of the script. I read it that same night and it was so overpowering and raw on the page. Two or three times in my life something has screamed at me ‘you’ve got to make this’ and this was one of those scripts. I just felt that she had completely captured what it’s like to be 13: that sense of being ostracized, of wanting to belong, of finding your own power as an individual. I thought, if I’m able to tap into these character’s lives, if I’m this moved, people of all ages will feel the same way.”
Levy-Hinte had a similar reaction. “All at once, the script engrossed and terrified me,” he says. “It was very tough and provocative, but the core of it was so honest, so searing and important that it was impossible to ignore. I’ve always been drawn to stories that allow people to speak their emotional truth, no matter how challenging. I think it makes us all healthier; and this story so clearly had vital human issues at the very heart of it.”
Nevertheless, the screenplay frightened many people in Hollywood with its unfiltered, uncompromisingly frank view of teen life. “Everyone who read the script really liked it, but they saw that it was a major risk,” says London. “We kept cautioning Catherine that things might not come together as fast as she wanted, but she never believed it. She just kept saying: however much money you can get, whatever cast we can put together, I’ll make it happen.”
Determined to get the film made at lightning pace, Hardwicke did everything she could to sustain the momentum. Using a digital camera, she shot a scene with just Reed as a sample of what the film might look like. She engaged in a series of re-writes, adding more layers to the script. And when she heard Holly Hunter might be interested in the role of Mel, Tracy’s overwhelmed mother, she flew straight to New York with an invitation for Hunter to come to California for a sleepover with Nikki Reed and her family.
“I wanted to show her where the script came from,” comments Hardwicke. “When I told her about Nikki, Holly’s jaw just dropped. ‘You mean you wrote this with a real 13 year old?’ she asked. It really made an impression on her because she likes her work to come from something very real.”
Says Hunter of the script: “From the minute I read it, I felt it had a very primary kind of power; it was like a gigantic wash of color, extremely visceral. It felt up-to-the second, talking about what’s going on right now. It had an energy very much like being around a bunch of 13 year olds who are scattershot and ricocheting – and then in the middle of these two girls was Mel, who has her own journey. I felt that when you brought the family dynamic in, it became an even more universal and human story.”
Hardwicke made more changes to the script after meeting Hunter, and the whole project began to gel. “Catherine has an incredible skill for listening to other people and then improving things in a very tangible and surprising way,” recalls Levy-Hinte. “She didn’t just make a few changes to the script, she made it even more fresh and exciting. And once Holly came on board, everything fell into place. Making this film became a reality.”
"The other type of best friends are two girls who are truly inseparable…They have their own language and codes. They wear each other’s clothes. They may even have crushes at the same time on the same person.. . It’s almost certain they’ll break up. . . And then they’ll make up, then break up, then make up." -- Queen Bees and Wannabes, Rosalind Wiseman*
At the core of THIRTEEN are two girls, both desperate to be popular and wanted, who become best friends. Tracy is an over-achieving student who, angry at the unfairness of life, turns her focus to over-achieving at rebellion. Meanwhile, savvy, manipulative Evie turns out to be a lost and lonely child looking for love, or anything to hold onto in a world that seems to only value her looks and boldness. But it is the raw portrait of the girls’ friendship – fueled by need, complicated by jealousy, rife with intimacy – where the unique power of their story lies.
Hardwicke advised her co-writer Reed, whose life closely resembled Tracy’s, not to take on the main role. “For Nikki to play herself would have been very, very hard,” notes the director. “I also felt that Nikki didn’t quite have the innocence that you want to see in Tracy because she had already been through it all and come out the other side.”
Hardwicke began the process of searching for a girl of 13 with the maturity and presence to take Tracy from a shy innocent to a hardcore teen rebel. It wasn’t an easy task, as many girls turned down the role purely out of fear of the edgy subject matter. Then Hardwicke came across Evan Rachel Wood, already a veteran actress at 14, who had been seen in such features as PRACTICAL MAGIC and known to television viewers for her role on the acclaimed series “Once and Again.” “There was nobody else like Evan,” sums up Hardwicke. “The fact that she even existed made me realize this movie was really going to happen.”
Wood had never seen a script so close to real teenage experiences before she read THIRTEEN. “Everything you see right now is sugar-coated and this wasn’t the fluffy pink version of being a teenage girl I’m used to seeing,” she observes. “It was about the people I really know – girls I’ve seen who have fallen into this same kind of black hole.”
Wood continues: “I think it’s a story anyone my age can relate to because it’s about that time when you’re not a kid and you’re not an adult so you don’t really know who you are but at the same time you want so badly to be accepted. And sometimes I think you let the wrong people into your life because you have no place else to go.”
When it came to Tracy’s relationship with her mother Mel, Wood also could relate to the volatile mix of love and anger that teens start to feel towards their parents. “There’s this very weird thing that happens to a
*Wiseman, Rosalind Queen Bees and Wannabes. Crown Publishers, a division of Random House, 2002.
person where one day you are super-close with your mom and then you wake up the next day and you don’t even want her to touch you. It’s a very bizarre thing that happens to almost everyone at this age,” she explains. “But I think Tracy always loves her mom deep down inside. Yes, she’s very angry with her and she’s
definitely trying to prove something to her, but she loves her. She’s just throwing all of her pain in her mother’s face. She’s saying, ‘look at what I’m going through, look at how much agony I’m in.’”
Most of all, Wood felt the character of Tracy could make a difference to other teen girls. “THIRTEEN is a movie that really holds a mirror up to your face if you’re that age,” she says. “I think it will open a lot of teenagers’ eyes and it will also open a lot of parents’ eyes to what kids are going through today. It’s good for people to see how someone like Tracy gets to rock bottom and how she has to finally make a choice: can I get my life together or will I stay lost forever?”
While Wood was auditioning for Tracy, Reed made the decision to audition for the role of Evie. When producer London met her, he was impressed despite her lack of experience. “Nikki is a truly compelling and extraordinary person and knowing that she had lived through this whole story made her even more fascinating,” he says. “She was perfect for Evie.”
Reed became increasingly fascinated by the character of Evie, who, though a “bad girl” by most definitions, turns out to have a whole lot more to her than anyone can see on the surface. “Evie’s just a really, really hurt little girl,” comments Reed. “She’s so insecure that she projects confidence and she’s so lonely that she really attaches to people like Mel. I think she just wants people to love her and she’s starving for attention. But she’s also become used to having power. Other kids are scared of her and cower away. That’s why she likes Tracy – because Tracy takes her on. At first it’s a game for Evie, to see if she can make Tracy become just like her, but then Evie realizes that she is the one who wants Tracy’s life. It’s a hard thing to face for her.”
For Reed, ultimately Evie’s story is about how tough it is for young girls to see the effect they’re having on their families and their futures. “Someone like Evie doesn’t realize how much she’s hurting other people or herself,” she observes. “But there are moments in the film when I think the audience can really see how much she wants to have a family, to be loved, to communicate honestly.”
The first time the girls met at Hardwicke’s house, they talked her into letting them spend the night, during which they filmed each other with Hardwicke’s digital camera. “That night, she let us just be girls and really have fun. We stayed up all night together and that made it seem like we’d been friends for a long time,” says Reed. Adds Wood: “We bonded right away at the sleepover and, from then on, it felt natural for us to behave like best friends.”
In addition to Nikki Reed, THIRTEEN gave a number of talented kids and teenagers their start in film, including: Brady Corbet as Tracy’s younger brother, who will star in the forthcoming special-effects adventure THE THUNDERBIRDS; Vanessa Anne Hudgens, who plays Tracy’s rejected friend Noel (and also stars in THE THUNDERBIRDS); Brandy Rainey, appearing as the tough girl who threatens Tracy at the film’s climax, who has since appeared on several television shows; and the rappers Mo-McRae and Javá Benson, who have already journeyed on to several prime-time television guest-spots.
The relationship between Tracy and Evie is a mystery to Tracy’s single mother, Mel, herself an energetic and troubled woman trying to make her way in a difficult world. Like many modern mothers, Mel is torn between the desire to be her daughter’s best friend and the unsettling need to be an authority figure. She makes mistakes but desperately wants to do right by her daughter, even when she can’t understand why things are going so wrong.
Holly Hunter was deeply fascinated by Mel’s struggle to hang onto her daughter and wanted to penetrate the skin of this woman who bears almost no resemblance to the actress in personality or circumstances. “I felt like this role was a chance for me to express something that I see all around me: this culture of youth, this changing world where nothing is the same, and where there’s this tremendous confusion about how to be a parent, how to be a girl, how to connect when there’s no real sense of what’s right and what’s wrong anymore,” she says.
Although Mel is smart, hip, tough and tries to be responsible, Hunter sees her as still having her own growing up to do. “Mel is still very much a youthful searcher,” she comments. “Tracy has a powerful journey but Mel too is on a restless, slightly dangerous journey that has its own sexiness and precariousness to it. It doesn’t exactly mirror Tracy’s story, but it informs it.”
To research the role further, Hunter spent time with Reed’s real-life single mother, Cheryl, who helped to inspire the creation of Mel. “Cheryl is this incredibly bright, hip, intelligent, caring mother who has been around the block and loves the hell out of her children. She was trying to do it all and wound up living in a chronic state of crisis. Getting to know her was really helpful in terms of establishing credibility,” says Hunter. “The character came in large part from my imagination, but I think it’s really important that the audience understand that Mel’s predicament is truly real – that this sort of thing can happen and it does happen all the time.”
Hardwicke hosted a second slumber party for Hunter, Wood and Reed. “That really helped us get the energy right,” Hunter observes. “It was vital that there be a real physical trust, a real high comfort level, between us. You have to feel the strong connection between Mel and Tracy to get the disconnection and the hope of them re-connecting. Both Evan and Nikki were so professional and honest – they really allowed me entrée, and we all related to one another creatively.”
Hunter became so enamored of Mel that throughout production she decided it was her duty to make sure the character wasn’t drowned out in the explosive frisson of the teens around her. “I felt very protective of Mel,” admits Hunter. “On the set there was this relentless landslide of ceaseless energy from the girls, but I didn’t want Mel to get lost in the melee. I felt a real responsibility to make sure Mel’s story emerged, that the audience really became a part of her struggle to be a good parent, because to me, Mel is imperative to the mix of this film. The story of the two girls really starts to resonate and become more hopeful when you add in the power of the mother-daughter dynamic.”
Also fascinating to Hunter was Mel’s relationship with Brady, her younger, equally troubled boyfriend, played by Jeremy Sisto, who has won acclaim for his dark, emotionally volatile role on HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” Here, Sisto plays a softer but still emotionally complex character. “Mel needs to have sexual connection in her life,” Hunter says. “But hers is not a settled, restful relationship. Brady isn’t an easy person, and Jeremy brought out all his shadings of light and dark.”
Sisto got so into the role that he began envisioning his own ideas for Brady’s development. He and Hardwicke collaborated to create one of the character’s most powerful scenes. Sisto suggested to Hardwicke that Brady should make a return after his falling out with Mel, in part to serve as a contrast with Mel’s disinterested ex-husband. Building upon the concept, Hardwicke proposed that Sisto perform the pivotal scene in his bare feet and present Mel with a toy. In the end, Sisto offered the wobbly-legged donkey, and the moment’s quiet vulnerability was made. “The toy was a perfect means of expression for Brady because he is so non-verbal,” Hardwicke explains. “At the point that he begins to speak to Mel, he is silenced by not knowing what to say, and Jeremy as Brady just disappears inside himself.”
Says Hardwicke about casting Sisto: “I hadn’t seen ‘Six Feet Under’ when we cast him, but I just adored him instantly. He played the role totally against expectation, and he was constantly brainstorming and inventing, making the character come alive in this very real, if sometimes bizarre, way. Obviously, the guy’s very flawed but I think you get a sense of why Mel has Brady in her life.”
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
"As they try to be fiercely nice and stay in perfect relationships, girls are forced into a game of tug-of-war with their own aggression. At times, girls’ anger may break the surface of their niceness, while at others it may linger below it, sending confusing messages . . ."-- Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons*
Once Hardwicke compiled her cast, she set about creating conditions under which they would be safe to emotionally explode with all the ferocity, physicality and fearlessness of young people coming into their own. In addition to the sleepover parties, informal discussions and rehearsals she hosted, Hardwicke made the decision early on to keep the set as tight-knit and private as possible. “We knew we were going to have kids doing tough stuff,” she notes, “and it was very important that everybody stay cool and make it a really great, creative atmosphere. There were very few outsiders allowed in because I wanted the actors to have the respect, space and quiet to focus on the work.”
Adds producer London: “From the start, we trusted in Catherine’s vision that the movie would be very authentic and could deal with teenage sexuality in an honest way that was at once even-handed and uncensored. She always stayed in a morally safe zone and made the emotional safety of the actors her priority. The bottom line was that everyone felt very strongly that we couldn’t tell a truthful story without letting it go to these places.”
He continues: “Catherine’s connection with young people is so natural and so deep, she was able to really draw them out, help shape their performances with confidence. She was very protective of the girls but at the same time she was imaginative in a way I’ve never seen anyone be in those kinds of circumstances. She knew it was very ambitious to use real kids in these roles but she flew on pure belief.”
For Wood, Hardwicke’s mixture of openness and shelter was just right. “Nikki and I never really had the time to feel embarrassed,” she says. “It was so intense all the time but Catherine made us feel good because she was always open to anything we wanted to try or anything we wanted to say. We both felt really respected.”
Notes London: “Part of the success of the film was Catherine creating a family atmosphere. You had all this primordial stuff going on – Nikki sort of channeling what she had been through recently, Evan facing up to her rawest emotions, Holly suddenly becoming a real mother-figure to these girls – and Catherine somehow kept that sense of churning chaos and emotion without letting it ever get out of control.”
The film was shot in just 26 days, in and around Los Angeles. The schedule was already tight, but adding to the time pressure was the fact that having two minors in the cast meant shooting days were limited by law to just nine short hours.
“I don’t think there was a scene in this movie that used more than three takes,” states Hardwicke. “Many scenes were done in a single take. And for Wood, it was even more intense because she’s in every scene. I can remember one day when we shot 13 scenes, and Evan had eight costume changes. It was absolutely unheard of and totally wild, but Evan somehow was able to pull it off, nailing the performances and keeping a great attitude the whole time.”
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” admits Wood. “The toughest part was having to switch back and forth – in the same day I might be reading sensitive poetry one minute and then snorting pills the next!”
“It was very exciting to be a part of the process of making this film,” says Levy-Hinte. “It was clear that you had a group of people who were absolutely obsessed with making this movie as perfect as possible under challenging circumstances. Yet somehow, that only added to the style of the film, only made it more immediate.”
To further enhance and influence the swinging moods on the set, Hardwicke used music, playing many of the songs used in the film during preparations for each scene. “As a production designer, I’ve had the advantage of getting a front-row seat to watch many of the world’s best directors, to see what works and what doesn’t. I took that tool from Cameron Crowe,” she explains. “It’s a very effective way to get people’s heads in the right place, just by playing a song that puts you in a certain emotional space.”
When it came to completing the music for the film, Hardwicke reached out to unsigned musicians, especially teenaged musicians, to keep the feeling authentic. Among the soundtrack’s discoveries are fourteen year-old Orlando “Bam-Bam” Brown, who wrote and performs two rap songs; The Like, an all-girl high school band that has an original song that plays during the belly-piercing scene; and 15 year-old Katy Rose, who wrote “Overdrive,” and “Lemon” with Kim Bullard, which is played over the end credits.
THE LOOK OF THIRTEEN
"Cliques and peer groups have strict rules. These are rules not
made to be broken: who to talk with, who to sit with, who to dress like . . ."
-- Cliques, Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese*
THIRTEEN capitalizes on the fast rhythms, jumpy vulnerability and hazy confusion of adolescence by using a deeply intimate, hand-held camera. To capture the film’s emotions visually, the production brought in acclaimed cinematographer Elliot Davis, whose previous work includes such stylistically distinct films as Steven Soderbergh’s OUT OF SIGHT, Spike Lee’s GET ON THE BUS, Jessie Nelson’s I AM SAM and the recent WHITE OLEANDER.
Davis was immediately drawn to the project. “I had turned down a lot of scripts because I just didn’t like them and finally I found something that seemed interesting,” he recalls. “It was a subject matter I knew very little about at the time, but I found it fascinating...a film with real human value.”
After meeting with Hardwicke, the two instantly hit it off. “We are both trained as architects, so we had a common language in which to talk about camera movement,” Davis points out. “And we both shared this idea that THIRTEEN is a movie of spirit, a movie in which, visually, form and function have to merge. It’s an entirely subjective, first-person point of view so we didn’t want there to be any barriers between the audience and the characters on the screen. We wanted to be right there with them, to have the camera be part of the action, to be hovering around Tracy and Evie unobtrusively, but inviting you into this world. And we knew that in order to do this, we had to get rid of all conservatism, shoot entirely on the fly. It was really about abandon in many ways, which was very interesting to me.”
The film’s imagery emerged out of its content. “We didn’t want to reference any other teen movies because not very many other movies have gone where we wanted to go,” notes Davis. “It was more of an emotional process than an intellectual one.”
Once on the set, Davis and a bare-bones crew used Super 16 cameras that he and Hardwicke liked for their combination of rich texture and portability. The entire film, save for a few locked-off shots in the final bedroom scene, was shot hand-held. In addition, numerous long, continuous shots that follow the actors as they move around Mel and Tracy’s house are used to add even more immediacy to the performances and more fluidity to the rhythmic structure.
On the film’s tight budget, and with its commando-style filmmaking – which sometimes involved shooting on city streets without permits, riding city buses and changing plans in an instant -- Davis often used anything he could find to make the shots work. At one point the cinematographer even requisitioned a shopping cart on the side of the road, which he rode as a makeshift dolly. “It was kind of like ‘Found Photography,’” comments Davis. “We did whatever was necessary.” On another occasion, Davis rigged Hardwicke’s personal jeep to be an impromptu camera car.
Hardwicke was consistently impressed with Davis. “He’s great at packing in the meaning and moving on, and an absolute master at hand-held photography,” she observes. “He has this very intuitive sense of where to be and how to get the right stuff. He’s brave and experimental, and it’s stunning to me how beautiful his photography is considering he had almost no time or resources, other than creativity, to set it up.”
Adds Jeffrey Levy-Hinte: “Elliot Davis had the same spirit of invention as Catherine. He came up with a style that feels very modern and fresh but also very raw and real. Whatever challenges arose, he had the ability to turn them around into creative solutions.”
That spirit also spread to other design elements in the film. One woman with a particularly challenging job on the set was Carol Strober, the film’s production designer, whose previous work includes the teen drama MANIC. Like Davis and Hardwicke, Strober also comes from an architectural background and was drawn to THIRTEEN because she saw it as an entirely fresh approach to telling a teen’s story. “I was very proud to be a part of this film,” she says, “because I think it’s a film that has a very positive message...It lets people see that kids today have a really hard struggle to become whole. The more people appreciate that struggle the better off we are.”
Strober approached the production design by examining Reed’s house – and especially her bedroom – but also expanded her research to a wide cross-section of teenage rooms, incorporating such standard teen rituals as the wall of cut-out photographs. Then, she let her imagination in. “What we were trying to do is to give a realistic picture of what these character’s lives were like, but at the same time still try to be inventive,” she says.
She continues: “I call the style ‘photogenic realism’ – it’s reality tweaked just enough to seduce you into this world and keep the audience engaged. We definitely didn’t want any of the visuals to be too bleak because its puts the eye off, but we also wanted it to reflect something true.”
Working for a former production-designer-turned-director turned out to be less of a factor than even Strober imagined. “Like any director, Catherine had her own strong ideas about what she wanted things to look like, but she and the rest of the crew gave me tremendous support,” she recalls. “I’ve rarely seen so many dedicated people on a film.”
Says Hardwicke: “Carol Strober did a great job with zero resources. We were literally grabbing stuff on the go and she made it all work with tremendous authenticity.”
Indeed there were occasions when Strober also had to engage in on-the-fly production design. At one point, when a key location was suddenly lost, Strober headed to Hardwicke’s house for furniture! “We used whatever we could grab,” recalls Hardwicke. “We pretty much backed up a truck and emptied my place.”
Throughout it all, Hardwicke’s own high spirits spurred everyone else on. “She just puts everything she has into what she’s doing and that inspired the rest of us to do that too,” sums up Wood.
ABOUT THE CAST
HOLLY HUNTER (Melanie)
Holly Hunter won an Academy Awardâ for her performance as the mute Scottish widow in Jane Campion’s THE PIANO, which also brought her a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Award, the National Board of Review Award and the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as the investigative secretary in THE FIRM and as the driven television producer in James L. Brooks’ BROADCAST NEWS. That performance garnered her a New York Film Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, The National Board of Review Award and the Berlin Film Festival Award for Best Actress.
Hunter won the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard Award for her role in Showtime’s THINGS YOU CAN TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HER, which also screened at the Sundance Film Festival. She received an Emmy Award and Golden Globe nomination for Showtime’s “Harlan County War.” She won Emmy® Awards for her roles in HBO’s “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom” and as Jane Doe in NBC’s “Roe vs. Wade.” She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the HBO feature as well.
The multi-faceted and prolific actress of screen, stage and television co-produced and starred in Beth Henley’s CONTROL FREAKS and produced Ray Barry’s “Mother Son” at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles. She recently starred in Brad Silberling’s MOONLIGHT MILE opposite Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and Jake Gyllenhaal. Her other film credits include: the Coen Brothers’ O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, JESUS’ SON, Mike Figgis’ TIME CODE, LIVING OUT LOUD, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, COPYCAT, ONCE AROUND, ALWAYS, RAISING ARIZONA, CRASH and A LIFE LESS ORDINARY.
She appeared in ABC’s “When Billie Beat Bobby,” portraying the tennis legend Billie Jean King in the infamous 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match between King and male pro Bobby Riggs.
She made her Broadway debut in Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” and also appeared in Henley’s stage production of “The Wake of Jamey Foster.” Hunter’s other New York stage appearances include: “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” “Battery,” “The Person I Once Was,” “A Weekend Near Madison” and “Impossible Marriage.”
EVAN RACHEL WOOD (Tracy)
Evan Rachel Wood is best known for her starring role as Sela Ward and Billy Campbell’s sensitive daughter Jesse in ABC’s critically acclaimed drama series “Once and Again.”
In 2002, Wood was seen opposite Al Pacino in New Line Cinema’s SIMONE and with Vivica A. Fox in LITTLE SECRETS. Her additional feature credits include PRACTICAL MAGIC, with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock; Timothy Hutton's DIGGING TO CHINA; and DETOUR, with Michael Madsen. She is currently in production on Ron Howard's THE MISSING, a suspense thriller set in 1885 in which she will star opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett.
Wood’s television credits include: “Down Will Come Baby,” “Profiler,” “Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story” and “Death in Small Doses.” She recently appeared as CJ Craig's niece in NBC's critically acclaimed drama "The West Wing."
Wood’s stage credits include "The Miracle Worker" for Theatre in the Park, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for Shakespeare in the Park and a three-year tour with "A Christmas Carol."
The native of Raleigh, North Carolina has been working steadily as an actress for nine years. She began her career in television, first appearing in “Search For Grace” and “In The Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness” as little Susie.
NIKKI REED (Evie Zamora, Co-Screenwriter)
THIRTEEN marks the screenwriting and feature film debut for Nikki Reed, who was 13 years old at the time the film was written and 14 when it was shot. She is now 15 years old and is an honor student, gymnast, and an equestrian. Reed won the Movieline Young Hollywood “One To Watch” Award for her portrayal of Evie Zamora in THIRTEEN.
Release Date: 5th December
Running time: 100