By  on February 22, 2005

In Young Hollywood, there are two types of actresses: the pretty face and the real deal. Evan Rachel Wood appears, at only 17, destined to be both.

She’s the rare teen actress whose ability to convey maturity, innocence and intelligence all at the same time has attracted

A-list filmmakers, from Ron Howard to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s production company, Plan B. In a town overflowing with superficial beauty and fleeting fame, Wood looks like she’ll be more Jodie Foster than Jennifer Grey.

Although she got her big break in the Emmy-winning television drama “Once and Again” in 1999 at age 11, Wood quickly moved on to a string of quality, if far from box-office blockbuster, films with high-profile co-stars, including “Thirteen” with Holly Hunter and “The Missing” with Cate Blanchett. Her breakthrough performance in “Thirteen” earned her Best Actress nominations at the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards in 2004. Next month, she’ll appear as Joan Allen’s daughter in “The Upside of Anger,” alongside real-life friends Erika Christensen and Kerri Russell.

But she’s not all serious thespian. Wood talks a mile a minute in a Valley Girl drawl and enjoys girlie pleasures like any other teen. You won’t find her toting the latest designer handbag from Kitson, but she always wears a small vintage diamond ring from her aunt. And as a teenager who nonetheless has ample opportunity to walk the red carpet — not just as a token PYT, but as a lead actress nominee — she’s been able to explore her growing interest in fashion with the ultimate wardrobe closet.

Wood may not be on designers’ speed dials yet, but her recent string of black-tie hits — in everything from Prada to Oscar de la Renta and Giorgio Armani — is quickly gaining recognition. Though even designers who dress her still can’t quite pin down her style as they do with teen star Mischa Barton, they keep sending the dresses in hopes of being the first to become her favorite.

Wood arrives at a photo shoot dressed in a brown T-shirt and jeans, clutching her iPod and a messenger bag. It would be easy to mistake the slight, initially shy girl for anyone else on the street, if it weren’t for her young publicist in tow.

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