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Nikki Reed Biography


Home > Actresses > R > Reed, Nikki > Biography


Birth Name: Nikki Reed
Born: 05/17/1988
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA


Born Nicole Houston Reed on May 17, 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, she was the daughter of set designer Seth Reed and wife Cheryl Houston, a hairdresser. Her parents split when Reed was very young, and she spent most of her formative years with her mother. Self-described as bookish and quiet, she blossomed in her twelfth year, though perhaps not in a way her mother had hoped; Reed developed a volatile personality, and within a few years, was experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex. By fourteen, clashes with her mother forced her to live on her own.

She met Hardwicke while the then set designer was dating her father. Long after the romantic liaison ended, Hardwicke maintained a relationship with Reed. In 2002, they began collaborating on a screenplay based on writing Reed had done through her early teens. Originally intended as a light comedy, it eventually bloomed into something darker and more emotionally true; the duo eventually finished the script for "Thirteen" over the course of six days that winter.

Hardwicke, who made her directorial debut with "Thirteen," originally utilized Reed as an assistant casting director who would help with the numerous young female actresses auditioning for the main roles. But when the producers were unable to find the right actress to play Evie, the popular girl who befriends Evan Rachel Wood's heroine, they reached out to Reed to play the role. She was initially reluctant, but eventually accepted the part, which marked her acting debut. As Evie, Reed was note-perfect as the carefree conduit to a world of freedom for Wood's Tracy, which eventually spirals into self-abuse, drugs, and underage sex. Her chilling performance was singled out by many critics as one of the film's most dramatic elements.

The attention Reed gained as a result of "Thirteen" had both positive and negative affects on her life. Initially disinterested in acting, she soon developed a taste for movie sets, and landed supporting roles in several independent features, including Hardwicke's "Lords of Dogtown" (2005), which cast her as pro skater Tony Alva's sister, Kathy. But she also found it difficult to return to her old life; she had left high school after just a year, citing the criticism of adults for depicting such behavior on screen. Reed eventually received her diploma through home schooling.

Upon her return to acting, Reed found it difficult to play anything but variations on the sexually promiscuous "bad girl" she essayed in "Thirteen." Save for Kathy Alva, she was confined to vampish roles in features like "Mini's First Time" (2006) and "Cherry Crush" (2007), and played a jewelry maker who drives a wedge between Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie) and Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) on "The O.C." In interviews, the often times rebellious Reed spoke out against the show's materialistic nature and stated that the role had changed significantly since her initial meetings with producers.

In 2007, Reed was cast as Andi, best friend and crush object of Bret Harrison's slacker-turned-employee of Satan on the sitcom, "Reaper" (The CW, 2007- ). Unfortunately, she was replaced by actress Missy Peregrym during a re-shoot of the pilot, which effectively quashed what might have been a solid effort to re-calibrate her screen image. Undaunted, she reunited with Hardwicke for the much-anticipated film version of "Twilight," the first in a series of Gothic romances by Stephenie Meyer. Reed was cast as Rosalie Hale, a victim of a crime of passion who was revived as a vampire by a benevolent bloodsucker (Peter Facinelli) who made her part of his family. Rosalie initially serves as an antagonist for the story's female lead, Bella (Kristen Stewart), but eventually comes to accept her romance with fellow teen vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson).

After landing the role, Reed found herself at the center of a controversy with the book's loyal readers, who refused to accept her as the character, since she was a brunette and Rosalie was blonde. However, based on the overwhelming popularity of "Twilight," Reed was tapped to portray her character Rosalie twice more in the sequels "New Moon" (2009) and "Eclipse" (2010). She remained active onscreen throughout 2008, adding producer to her list of talents by helping to oversee the comedy "Last Day of Summer," in which she also appeared in a supporting role.