Proactive dating script
The two of them buzzed through 30 pages a day, and on the sixth day they had a finished script.
Asked about the mechanics of writing together, Reed recalls, 'Most of the lines came from me, structure and perspective came from Catherine.
In my first draft, everyone in the world except Tracy was evil, the dad was neglectful instead of trying, the mother bad instead of struggling.'Hardwicke, who like Reed's father was a production designer (her credits include Tombstone and Three Kings, his include Minority Report and Autofocus), had long wanted to direct, and made her debut with Thirteen.'[Catherine] wrote many things in the past,' Reed recalls, 'but nothing got made...' she pauses, '... She's a brilliant writer, but you need people's attention, somehow, and it's my age that did it.'The film was funded, cast and filmed within an unusually speedy four months.
At first investors were afraid, and the agents of the eventual star, Evan Rachel Wood, never even allowed her to read it.
From any other young starlet, this might be construed as a display of calculated free-spiritedness. She is such a genuine free spirit that at times she seems like a helium balloon in need of someone to hold the string. She is refreshingly un-put-together, wearing a purple leopard-print tank top and spray-on jeans - no designer loan, this, but the saved-for-knock-off wardrobe of an adolescent Angeleno. Evie Zamora, the anti-heroine of Thirteen whom Reed brings so blisteringly to life, is an amalgamation of all the teen temptresses Reed ran with (or attempted to run with, since much of the film documents the tests one must endure to be accepted by the cool gang) while she was at junior high school.
Reed's alter-ego is Tracy, who is inspired by her new friend to throw out all her Barbies, pierce her tongue and reject her mother, destroying her own sweetness as an act of rebellion.
Or is it her brashness, the painfully acute observation of the extremely young? ' she asks the photographer's assistant at one point. ' Leaning on a wall between shots, her gaze moves to me.
Her mother first dyed Reed's hair when she was five.'There are some mothers who say, "If you're smoking pot, I don't want to know,"' says Reed.
Hardwicke, who had known Reed since she was two, heard she was in trouble - taking drugs, cutting herself, running around with older men - and so she sought to distract her by suggesting they write a dumb teen comedy, an American Pie clone.
But the intensity of her experiences made writing a light-hearted script an impossibility, and so the dumb comedy became Thirteen.
'Mine was like, "If you're smoking pot, do it in the house so I know that you're safe and not in some alleyway."'One does come out of the film wondering why the mother - her mother, a former alcoholic who has been straight for 12 years - wasn't more proactive as her daughter so obviously spiralled into the dark side. Her parents died when she was 10 and she doesn't like confronting people. She just wants everyone to be happy.'Hardwicke clearly holds a sacred position in Reed's life, but what are the boundaries of working with such a close friend?
Reed adopts the lotus pose, making it look both easy and goofy.'I don't have a professional relationship with her, so every little thing she criticises about my work I take to the heart.