EVAN RACHEL WOOD on 'ACROSS THE UNIVERSE' Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
(Interview date: August 8, 2005 / Introduction updated: September 2007)
We first met Evan over two years ago, during an interview for her dark comedy Pretty Persuasion. At that time, she had just been cast in what was long called "Untitled Julie Taymor Project," but ultimately became the colorful Beatles-infused movie musical Across the Universe. Evan was extremely excited over the role and took a moment to preview it. In this interview excerpt, she talks about landing the dream role, working with director Julie Taymor, and being uncharacteristically nervous during the audition.
MEDIA: What kind of dream role are you looking for next?
EVAN: I'm doing it. I'm getting to play my dream. I'm getting to do a musical. And it's just great. I get to go to work every day and act and sing and dance, sing Beatles songs--you know, sing all these songs that I'm completely in love with, and still get to play this really cool character. And she goes through so many different changes and periods. I can't ask for anything more.
Who's directing that movie?
What has it been like working with her?
It's very rare that I get along with female directors. Catherine Hardwicke and Julie are awesome...You can just sit there. The whole cast is just kindergartners when she explains to us what she's going to do with the scene. We just sit down, like cross-legged, and just listen to her with our mouths open. It's amazing. And to know that you're in such good hands...It's really nice.
Are you singing your own songs in the film?
It's going to be me. Yeah, we're all doing it.
Given your passion for this role, how did you feel in the audition? Were you exceptionally nervous?
I've never been more nervous in an audition. I went in once, and I had to sing and act. I mean, I never even sweat, and I got in there and started singing, and I felt my back, and I was like, "Oh my God, am I that nervous?" [laughs] I just wanted it so bad that I knew that I could do it. I was actually on another set and my agents came over and told me that they offered me the role, and I freaked. I almost started crying. I was just so happy. The whole crew on the set clapped because they saw how excited I was, and yeah, it just feels amazing. But it's still not even real. When I go to rehearse every day, I'm like, "Any second, they're going to come in and go, 'You know, this just isn't working out. You're not going where we need you to go. We're going to have to hire somebody else.' I knew it! It was too good! It was too good!"