Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores Abernathy) is in high demand these days. Hot on the heels of her interview with People, Wood is featured in a cover shoot for Elle Canada. In the accompanying story, the Westworld star discusses how her character Dolores changed her for the better.
Wood has been very vocal about how playing Dolores was a cathartic experience. She tells Elle Canada, “Dolores’ journey was about finding her true self and facing trauma and her past. That was a catalyst in me opening up about my experiences [as a sexual assault survivor]. Playing her got me to face a lot. Life was imitating art. By the end of that show, I did feel like I was standing on firmer ground and that I had conquered certain fears. I was owning it in a different way. I was less afraid and less ashamed.”
Now at peace with her past, Wood has become a voice for other victims and refuses to keep quiet in the face of criticism. “I just felt the gloves come off and I was done. You need to be vocal and be yourself and keep fighting,” Wood says. “I’ve been able to talk about it in a new way – from a place of strength rather than still kind of going through it. And there are still good days and bad days. That stuff never fully goes away.”
Although it’s been a liberating experience, being an advocate can be difficult as well. Wood explains, “Even when the response is positive, it’s still overwhelming because people start opening up to you about their experiences and that’s really heavy. But it’s kind of like how I felt when I had my son, where it was like ‘All right, now you get to take your experiences and turn them into lessons and you get to kind of be there for him instead of just wallowing in your thing.’”
Despite being outspoken about sexual violence, feminism, and LGBT rights, Wood isn’t interested in imposing her views on the rest of the world. “Honestly, I don’t even really want to change people that much,” Wood admits. “I want to make sure everyone’s got access to affordable health care and things that help people stay alive and sane and taken care of on a base level. And then, seriously, I don’t care what you believe. Just let everyone live the way that they choose to live and let’s not try to force our ideals on everybody else.”
For more details on her past, her personal life, and her music, check out the entire interview over at Elle Canada.