Evan Rachel Wood on her queer roles, educating others about bisexuality and her preference for suits

 
 

AE: I see on Twitter that you respond to people who have questions about your being bi when you’re married to a man. There’s still so much confusion about what it means to be bi. Do you feel like most people are understanding about it or that you have to educate a lot of people on this?
ERW:
That’s one of the reasons I love Twitter and when people ask those questions. I don’t get offended by them. I look at it as an opportunity to educate people. A lot of times they just really don’t know a lot about it or haven’t talked to someone who is bisexual and actually get some insight into those issues. So I don’t get angry or try to fight hate with hate; I just try to educate. There are many misconceptions about bisexuality. The one thing I run into more than anything is that bisexuality isn’t real or that you’re just going through a phase or you really are just gay, you just don’t want to say it. It’s extremely hard growing up — I didn’t know bisexuality was an option growing up, because I knew I was attracted to women, but I was still attracted to men and that sent me spiraling into all kinds of — [laughs] I had no idea what I was! You’re kind of torn between this world of gay and straight and you’re stuck in the middle and sometimes get shunned by both sides and feel there’s not really a place for you and it can be really hard.

But it is very real and yes, I’m married to an amazing man, but that doesn’t change my sexuality, doesn’t change who I am. I entered into a monogamous relationship and it could have been with a woman. I think people always have questions because it’s something they don’t understand; they’re not exposed to it. If I can help in anyway to shed some light on the subject, then that’s great. A lot of times I get people growing up with a certain idea or mentality or religion or something told to them when they’re young and they accept it as truth and never question it. And they get older and I feel like some people feel if they reject their religion, then they reject God or something. I’m not saying that’s what you should do and that I’m right and you’re wrong. I’m just saying how do you know if you really found God if you’ve only looked in one place, you know? You have to be open-minded.

AE: In terms of Hollywood, a lot of people think if they come out they’ll get pigeonholed or will be unable to be cast in roles based on their sexuality. Have you felt any of that and would you encourage actors to come out?
ERW:
I haven’t had any problems. Everyone’s been amazing. I mean people have to figure out what’s right for them and what they’re comfortable with. Some people don’t think it’s anyone’s business or anyone should make a big deal about it. I just want to raise awareness I guess. It just depends.

AE: I love your style. You mix it up so much — androgyny sometimes, glamming it up others. How do you decide what look you’re going to go for on a given night?
ERW:
[Laughs] It depends on my mood I guess! And it depends on the event. But if I can opt for a suit, I will always choose a suit first. I work with an amazing stylist and I always say, above all, a suit before anything. It’s just comfortable! I’ve always been different than most girls that I’ve hung out with. My whole life growing up I’ve always thought, “There’s something about me that’s different and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.” You get older and it becomes so obvious what it was this whole time. I’ve never been a prissy girl, so obsessed with hair and clothes and make-up and stuff like that. I mean I have fun with the way I dress and stuff, but if I want to be comfortable, I don’t feel the obligation to put on a dress and heels if I don’t want to.

AE: The haircut you have now, did you get it cut for a role or did you just want to cut it short?
ERW:
No, I’ve always wanted to have my hair cut really short. I think someone scarred me when I was little and told me I didn’t have the face for it. I must have been 10 years old or something! A few years ago, I thought “Why am I still letting that impact my decision? I want to cut my hair!” And it was the best decision I ever made, oh my God! I can’t believe I waited this long to do it. It was amazing.

AE: You were just at Sundance with The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. Was it picked up by a distributor and do you know when we might be able to see it?
ERW:
Well hopefully it’ll be out this year. They’re still waiting to find someone that really is right for the movie. They’ve had offers but I don’t know — they’re kind of waiting. It’s a really specific film. The film’s not for everyone. But the people who love it love it. Every audience I talked to at Sundance was blown away by it. It is a very trippy, surreal, music-driven, visual movie. Some people don’t get it and some people love it. But that’s a majority of films I do, and not everybody loves them. Because they’re usually kind of weird or independent or pushing boundaries or taking chances. I’d rather be in a movie that takes chances and is imperfect than to be in a movie that plays it safe and is something we’ve seen a million times. It’s a romance. It’s like a violent romantic comedy — dark. We keep comparing it to movies like True Romance or even Trainspotting. It goes back and forth between drama and comedy and surrealism and dream states and there’s a lot of amazing music that drives the movie.

AE: Speaking of music, I saw you sing last summer in L.A., doing “Son of a Preacher Man” and some Beatles songs. Will you be doing any more singing in the near future? Will you ever record an album?
ERW:
I’m not sure, you know. I think I have not wanted to record an album because I like something I can do that can’t really be tainted and then becomes a job and about money or anything. I feel like it fills my soul. I act and that’s creative and artistic, but that’s my job, you know, and I rely on that to live. So I kind of like having something that’s just mine that’s creative that helps me unwind. Because I never feel more like me than when I’m singing. It’s like meditative. I just leave my body and I just never want that to be messed with or tainted I guess. So I sing with my friends and if people ask me to sing with them or collaborate with them I’ll do it. I’ve sang on a couple of albums, obviously Across the Universe and a Bob Dylan tribute album called Chimes of Freedom, but there are a few things out there. If you’re lucky you’ll see me sing around L.A. now and then. Maybe I’ll do an album, maybe not. I don’t know. I’d rather keep it sacred.

AE: Do you write your own music?
ERW:
I do, I have written my own music. Maybe I’ll do some of my own music next time I do a show or sing with someone, I’ll throw in one of my songs, because I’ve actually never sang one of my songs for an audience.

Follow Evan Rachel Wood on Twitter at @EvanRachelWood.

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