Actress Evan Rachel Wood provides the lone sliver of decency in director/star George Clooney’s biting political drama, 'The Ides Of March'.
Evan Rachel Wood is sitting in London's Corinthia Hotel, dressed in a black velvet jacket, a champagne-coloured blouse, and skinny black jeans. It's two days after the London Film Festival premiere of the George Clooney-directed The Ides Of March, in which she stars, and the actress can't help but smile. After an exhausting autumn of interviews, red carpets and award shows, this is her last day of press before she returns home to Los Angeles. "It's so rare that I ever come home and actually unpack and hang my clothes up, and settle in," she says. "So it's going to be really nice to do that. On my vacations, I don't go anywhere. That's my vacation."
Not that she's complaining. Still only 24, the past two years have seen her work with such acclaimed directors as Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler), Woody Allen (Whatever Works), Robert Redford (The Conspirator) and Todd Haynes (on the HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce). She can now add George Clooney to that list, as the actor/director helms The Ides Of March, in which Wood plays Molly, a naive intern who gets used and abused during a vicious race for the Democratic presidential nomination. "It's sad, because she is one of the few honest people; she really is good hearted. She makes mistakes, but she isn't doing anything to screw anybody over or to gain anything. That's why she doesn't use events to her advantage because she's terrified. She really does care, and she's the one that suffers the most. That says a lot about that world. The nice guys are usually the ones that go down."
With Clooney playing Ohio Governor Mike Morris, the candidate Molly is working for, the film also sees man-of-the-hour Ryan Gosling as Morris' ambitious press secretary, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as his veteran campaign manager. Based on Beau Willimon's 2008 play Farrugut North, the fact that we're looking at Democrat backbiting here doesn't matter. "Everyone takes knocks in the film," says Wood. "It's not one sided to Democrats or Republicans. Whatever you believe in, you'll probably get a kick out of it."
Anything but a political agitator, Wood admits that the world of politics just makes her mad. "It just upsets me," she says. "I feel like I'm from another planet. Things just seem so simple in my mind. I'm that person that says, ‘I don't get it. Why can't everyone just live their lives the way they want to live them, as long as they don't harm another human being against their will?' That should just be it! But apparently, we have to stick our noses in another person's business and make a big deal of it. I don't like it when people's personal lives get involved with politics and laws. It just seems so unnecessary, and there are so many other things that we should be focusing on..."
The Ides Of March is released on November 24. This is an excerpt from a story we ran in our December issue on sale now.