Nikki Reed Biography
Nicole Houston "Nikki" Reed (born May 17, 1988) is an American film actress and screenwriter. She became known in 2003, after the release of the film Thirteen, for which she co-wrote the screenplay. Reed has since appeared in several films, including Lords of Dogtown and Mini's First Time. She also portrayed Rosalie Hale in the film adaptation of the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.
Reed was born in West Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Cheryl Houston, a beautician, and Seth Reed, a set designer. She has an older brother, Nathan. Reed's father is Jewish and her mother is of Cherokee and Italian descent; Reed was raised without religion, though she grew up around Judaism (her brother had a Bar Mitzvah).
Reed has described her home life as "complicated." Her parents divorced when she was two, and she grew up with her mother. She describes herself as having been "shy and a bookworm," but at the age of 12, while attending Palms Middle School, she became rebellious and emotionally volatile. The relationship between Reed and her mother became strained when Reed experimented with drugs, alcohol, and sex. At the age of 14, Reed was emancipated; she then moved out and began living on her own. She had no specific desire to become an actress.
Reed and director Catherine Hardwicke finished the script for the semi-autobiographical film Thirteen in six days, a relatively short time for a Hollywood script to be written. Producers asked Reed to play a role in the film because they had trouble casting it, considering it an "uncomfortable" role for most young actresses. The film, starring Evan Rachel Wood, was released in 2003 to glowing reviews, giving Reed recognition in Hollywood as both an actress and a screenwriter. Following the film's release, Reed also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and hosted a number of award shows, including the Young Hollywood Awards (2003) and the Independent Spirit Awards Nomination Show, followed by the West Independent Spirits Awards, both in 2004.
Reed has continued to portray sexually promiscuous teenagers, including her character in Lords of Dogtown, also directed by Hardwicke. In early 2006, she appeared on the series The O.C., playing Sadie, a new love interest for the character Ryan Atwood. Reed noted she disagreed with the "trendy and shallow things" that The O.C. promoted, and that she appeared in the series only on the advice of her agents.
One of her most distinctive roles was in Mini's First Time, which received a limited release in the United States on July 14, 2006. In the film, Reed played a teenager who, through seduction, involves her stepfather in a plot to murder her mother. Reed has noted that her character does not "understand the weight of consequence," and that she enjoyed playing someone who she describes as "crass" and having a "trucker's mouth." Reed's character participates in explicit sex scenes, which had to be filmed from the point of view of Reed's back, as she was 16 at the time and thus legally unable to film her scenes in a more explicit manner.
Reed wrote another script set in New Zealand between the 1960s and the 1980s. Reed has noted that she feels she is a versatile actress, but feels typecast in roles of "sexy bad girls," noting that producers often tell her that she is too "sexy" for a particular part.
On February 12, 2008, it was announced that Reed would portray Rosalie Hale in the movie version of Twilight, which was directed by Catherine Hardwicke. In June 2008, Reed wrote a letter to her fans, thanking them for supporting her through the controversy that surrounded her, a brunette, being cast as Rosalie (described as a blonde).
During a radio interview with Big O and Dukes of WJFK 1067, Jason Mewes stated that he is doing a movie called K-11 with Reed and Kristen Stewart, also of Twilight.The film, directed by Stewart's mother, takes place in a dorm of the Los Angeles County Jail, and will feature both Stewart and Reed as male characters.
After Thirteen's success, Reed returned to her Los Angeles high school, but dropped out again after a year. She cited her experiences involving "mothers who were sneaking into the school at lunchtime to confront and harass her about the film" as the reason for her departure. Reed was subsequently home-schooled, and she eventually received her high-school diploma. Reed divides her time between New York City and Los Angeles.