August 16th, 2011
03:12 PM ET
At 23, Evan Rachel Wood is known for turning in powerful dramatic performances, from her turn as a troubled adolescent in "Thirteen" to her role in Robert Redford's historical drama "The Conspirator."
And while her portrayal of Veda Pierce in HBO's lauded miniseries "Mildred Pierce" nabbed the actress an Emmy nomination, Wood says there's still one more side that she wants audiences to see more of: her sense of humor.
"I would love to do a comedy," she says. "I'm actually...well I don’t think I can talk about it yet. But, hopefully there’ll be a comedy in the future. That’s what I really want to do."
Although she's not exactly known for being a goofball, "I’m really kind of a silly person in real life," Wood says. "Everyone that knows me is shocked that I haven’t done a comedy because I’m kind of a clown."
It's a side of her that Wood's "Conspirator" co-stars got to see off-camera. The movie, directed by Robert Redford and starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy, focuses on Wright's Mary Surratt, who is the lone woman charged with being a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Wood provided a praised performance as Mary's daughter, Anna.
But when the cast gathered off the set while on location in Savannah, Georgia, they left the dramatics behind, Wood says.
"I had a great time...it was great actually being around some American history," she says of the shooting location. "The cast was amazing – we’d all go out [and do] karaoke and we were cracking jokes constantly."
Having been in the business for more than a decade, Wood says she bases her role choices on a desire to show variety, ensuring that the audience comes to know "every different side" of her as an actress. And in her next role, in George Clooney's political drama "The Ides of March," Wood will play an intern who tempts Ryan Gosling's presidential campaign staffer, Stephen Myers.
Filming "Ides" "was a great experience," Wood says. "George Clooney is an incredible director, he makes for a great environment on set. It’s brilliant writing, and an amazing cast. And most of my scenes are with Ryan Gosling, so it’s not a bad day [at work]."
And as for seducing Gosling, "It went great," she laughs. "I think Ryan and I were a good match. We really went toe-to-toe, waiting to see who would get intimidated first. But I don’t think either of us broke."
Only time will tell if "Ides" lands Wood the recognition the TV miniseries "Mildred Pierce" has poured in, and the 23-year-old mentions that she's not one to look too far ahead.
"I feel really lucky that I got a start [in acting] when I was so young. I feel a lot older than I am, because it’s like I’ve lived 50 lives," she says, "and it’s weird when you’ve played so many different characters, and you’ve had to look at the world through so many different eyes. But I’m glad I’m where I’m at. I try not to think too far ahead into the future so I’m always surprised and never disappointed."
As a result, there are no nerves leading up to the Emmys on September 18, where she'll be up for the outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or a movie award along with her "Mildred Pierce" co-stars Melissa Leo and Mare Winningham.
"I’m just really happy for the movie, and I’m excited," Wood says. "It always feels nice when your work is appreciated. I’m really looking forward to it, no matter what happens."
"The Conspirator" is available on Blu-ray and DVD today, and "The Ides of March" arrives in theaters October 7.
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