Best projects: Thirteen (2003), The Wrestler (2008), True Blood (2009–2011, HBO), The Conspirator (2011), Mildred Pierce (2011, HBO), The Ides of March (2011)
In the 2008 indie hit The Wrestler, Hollywood’s (then) comeback kid Mickey Rourke basked in all of the critical praise and awards nominations, and rightfully so—his work as Randy “The Ram” remains one of the new millennium’s greatest male performances. But some of the credit goes to his young co-star Evan Rachel Wood, who went emotion-for-emotion with Rourke as the daughter who yearned for her daddy’s love but constantly faced disappointments.
It’s that same level of intensity and credibility that Wood later brought to the towering HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, in which she more than held her own next to Kate force-of-nature Winslet; not to mention, her small yet crucial role in George Clooney’s well-acted political drama The Ides of March. She’s a pro when it comes to dramas, no doubt, but, frankly, we’re going to miss Wood’s sexy and provocative scenes in True Blood, since her character, queen vampire Sophie-Anne, was gunned down by Bill Compton’s armed forces.