Evan Rachel Wood has awed audiences with her interesting choice in roles ('Thirteen,' 'Across the Universe') and made tabloid headlines for her unconventional taste in men (much older shock rocker Marilyn Manson and now -- reportedly -- Shane West, who played her big brother on 'Once and Again').

Those two tendencies converge in Woody Allen's new movie 'Whatever Works' (in theaters June 19), in which she plays Melody, a sweet, innocent, not-too-smart Southern belle who absconds to New York and falls in love with Boris, a crotchety, brilliant, reclusive and, yes, much older man, played by Larry David.

Wood opens up about what put her in shock on the 'Whatever' set, which high-profile movie she bailed on to star in 'Spider-Man: The Musical' and how she's prepared to sink her teeth into the role of vampire queen on HBO's 'True Blood.' Evan Rachel Wood has awed audiences with her interesting choice in roles ('Thirteen,' 'Across the Universe') and made tabloid headlines for her unconventional taste in men (much older shock rocker Marilyn Manson and now -- reportedly -- Shane West, who played her big brother on 'Once and Again').

Those two tendencies converge in Woody Allen's new movie 'Whatever Works' (in theaters June 19), in which she plays Melody, a sweet, innocent, not-too-smart Southern belle who absconds to New York and falls in love with Boris, a crotchety, brilliant, reclusive and, yes, much older man, played by Larry David.

Wood opens up about what put her in shock on the 'Whatever' set, which high-profile movie she bailed on to star in 'Spider-Man: The Musical' and how she's prepared to sink her teeth into the role of vampire queen on HBO's 'True Blood.' -- By Tom DiChiara

Evan Rachel Wood Photos

    In this film publicity image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Larry David, left, and Evan Rachel Wood are shown in a scene from, "Whatever Works." (AP Photo/ Sony Pictures Classics, Jessica Miglio) ** NO SALES **

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    Actress Evan Rachel Wood attends The Cinema Society & The New Yorker screening of "Whatever Works" at Regal Cinema Battery Park on June 10, 2009 in New York City. The Cinema Society & The New Yorker Host A Screening Of "Whatever Works" - Outside Arrivals Regal Cinema Battery Park New York, NY United States June 10, 2009 Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage.com To license this image (57651868), contact WireImage.com

    Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

    NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Actress Evan Rachel Wood attends the after party for the "Whatever Works" screening hosted by The Cinema Society & The New Yorker at River Cafe on June 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Evan Rachel Wood

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    Evan Rachel Wood attends The Cinema Society & The New Yorker screening of "Whatever Works" after party at the River Cafe on June 10, 2009 in New York City. The Cinema Society & The New Yorker Host A Screening Of "Whatever Works" - After Party River Cafe New York, NY United States June 10, 2009 Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com To license this image (16833747), contact WireImage.com

    Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com

    Evan Rachel Wood attends The Cinema Society & The New Yorker screening of "Whatever Works" after party at the River Cafe on June 10, 2009 in New York City. The Cinema Society & The New Yorker Host A Screening Of "Whatever Works" - After Party River Cafe New York, NY United States June 10, 2009 Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com To license this image (16833745), contact WireImage.com

    Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com

    Evan Rachel Wood attends The Cinema Society & The New Yorker screening of "Whatever Works" after party at the River Cafe on June 10, 2009 in New York City. The Cinema Society & The New Yorker Host A Screening Of "Whatever Works" - After Party River Cafe New York, NY United States June 10, 2009 Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com To license this image (16833744), contact WireImage.com

    Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com

    NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Actress Evan Rachel Wood attends a screening of "Whatever Works" hosted by the Cinema Society and The New Yorker at Regal Cinema Battery Park June 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Evan Rachel Wood

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Actress Evan Rachel Wood attends a screening of "Whatever Works" hosted by the Cinema Society and The New Yorker at Regal Cinema Battery Park June 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Evan Rachel Wood

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Actress Evan Rachel Wood attends a screening of "Whatever Works" hosted by the Cinema Society and The New Yorker at Regal Cinema Battery Park June 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Evan Rachel Wood

    Getty Images

    NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Actress Evan Rachel Wood attends a screening of "Whatever Works" hosted by the Cinema Society and The New Yorker at Regal Cinema Battery Park June 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Evan Rachel Wood

    Getty Images



This is your first true comedy. Was that intimidating for you? And what attracted you to this movie?
Yeah, absolutely -- especially a Woody Allen comedy. Everything appealed to me about it really. The character was so different from anything I'd ever done. She was Southern, and I'm from North Carolina. When I first read it, I didn't know who else could do the part except Woody Allen, but then when I met Larry, I was like: "Perfect!" I mean, how many chances would I get to play Larry David's wife? Come on [laughs].

Was working with Larry and Woody at the same time like a little slice of hilarious sarcastic Jewish guy heaven?
[Laughs] It was amaaaaaaazing. It was really great. It was weird. I loved just watching them talk and go over the script and stuff. I would just stare. People are like, "What funny things did they say?" or "What did they talk about?" I said: "I don't know. I was just in shock the whole time that I was actually there."


A big theme of 'Whatever Works' is to do what's right for you no matter what other people think. Is that an idea that guides you? And do you think the offshoot of that -- that love can bloom in the craziest of places -- is plausible?
Yeah, absolutely. That's what I always say -- not in those words, but don't let anybody tell you what makes you happy. Just figure out what works for you and hold onto it. That's the way to go. I think [love] happens when you least expect it, and that's usually the best, you know, when love finds you because -- I don't know -- I believe in fate in a weird way, I guess. I've always met people or had something like that happen to me at the weirdest times and just ... I don't know. Stuff I wasn't planning on doing and at the last minute decide to do, and then something monumental and crazy happens and just changes my whole life.



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You're a black belt in tae kwon do -- will you be showing off those skills in an action movie, maybe like Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch'?
I hope so. Well, I can't do 'Sucker Punch' because of 'Spider-Man: [The Musical].' Rehearsals start in October, and then it should open in February ... I've heard all the music and sang some of the songs with Bono and the Edge, and I'm pretty comfortable. I love the music. It's really good. They did an amazing job writing for the stage.

Have you done anything to prepare for your role as Queen of the Vampires on 'True Blood' this season?
No, not yet ... but I got fitted for the fangs, and that's good enough for me. I've just been --- there's so much dialogue, she's got a lot to say. So I've just been doing that. But no, I've been preparing for this role my whole life [laughs]. I've been waiting to play a vampire for so long. So, I'm just, I'm ready to go. [I'm in] the last two episodes. I'm a little upset that I know how the season ends already because I was a fan of the show. But she's fierce, she's very scary. And after the last two episodes, I think I kind of have to [return next season]. But we'll see.

You're supposed to be the title character in Jodie Foster's 'Flora Plum.' Is that still happening?
Yeah, we had a small window to shoot in Louisiana if it wasn't hurricane season. But all the lead actors we wanted weren't available, and she didn't want to compromise or settle, so she put it on hold again -- and we were so close. A month later I would have been training on the trapeze. So I was a little bummed out.

Of all the characters you've played, which one's closest to you?
Probably Lucy in 'Across the Universe.' I mean, I felt like everything she was going through in that movie, I was, too, at the same time.

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