EVAN RACHEL WOOD, ACTRESS AND DEFENDER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS

The protagonist of Westworld and future Disney Queen in Frozen 2Evan Rachel Wood is an American actress and singer, openly bisexual and a survivor of domestic violence. She uses her fame to help other domestic violence survivors and fight for human rights.

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A prolific acting career from a young age

Evan Rachel Wood was born in 1987 in Raleigh, North Carolina from an artistic family, both her parents are actors and directors and her aunt was a production designer. From a young age, she started acting on stage under her father’s direction and got roles on television, such as in the TV series American Gothic and Once & Again. She had her first leading role at 11 in Digging to China (Timothy Hutton, 1998) and, in 2003, she played in Thirteen (Catherine Hardwicke) for which she received her first Golden Globe nomination. Throughout her career, she acted alongside famous actors such as Robert Redford, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney or Michael Douglas.

Even though she had gotten recognition before, she’s become a household name with her portrayal of Dolores Abernathy in Westworld, HBO’s mind-blowing science-fiction TV show. Dolores is an android in the Westworld park, a Wild West-themed park where guests can do as they please with the robots (with no retaliation). Deeply moving and sometimes downright scary, Dolores is the main character and many fans’ favorite. Evan Rachel Wood has been nominated for several prestigious prizes following her portrayal of Dolores, such as a Golden Globe and 2 Emmy Awards. She has won a Critics’ Choice Television Award in 2016 and a Satellite Awards in 2017.

She’s also a singer

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Music is deeply part of Evan Rachel Wood’s life. She starred in a few music videos, from Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends (2005) and Bright Eyes’ At the Bottom of Everything (2005) to Marilyn Manson’s Heart-Shaped Glasses (2007). She had a leading role in Across the Universe (Julie Taymor, 2007), a musical movie centered on songs by the Beatles. In 2016, she released two EPs with Zach Villa under the name Rebel and A Basketcase and she often sings on stage with Zane Carney under the name Evan + Zane.

And an activist

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Evan Rachel Wood came out as bisexual in 2011 and has be an outspoken advocate for LGBT+ rights ever since. She often talks about dealing with biphobia and bisexual erasure, which comes from inside the LGBT+ community as well. She is also a pro-choice and human rights activist, and has talked about raising her son and “teaching him that feelings are not a sign of weakness,” contrary to what society majoritarily sees as manhood.

Evan Rachel Wood has publicly declared she was raped and a victim of domestic violence in front of the American Congress in 2018. She testified that she was attacked by an ex-boyfriend more than 10 years ago, and still suffers from PTSD. She is currently fighting to help other domestic violence survivors and trying to pass the Phoenix Act. This act would extend the statute of limitation for domestic violence (which is around 2 to 4 years in many US states) under several conditions such as DNA or visual proofs, confession or over three victims denouncing the same perpetrator. The goal of the legislation is “not about harsher punishments for perpetrators, it’s about giving more rights to victims.” Since many victims are afraid and suffering, they often only come forward long past the statute of limitations.

Article by Juliette Cardinale

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