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by Nigel M Smith
March 18, 2013 1:06 PM
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SXSW: 'Snap' Star Nikki Reed Looks Back on 'Thirteen' and Explains Why 'Twilight' Never Felt Real

Nikki Reed in Austin SXSW

"Twilight" actress Nikki Reed made a big dent at SXSW this year, showing off her acting chops in the gritty indie "Snap" and singing opposite her husband (and former "American Idol" contestant) Paul McDonald at a number of live gigs throughout Austin for the music portion of the festival.

Like her musical foray, "Snap" is a passion project for Reed, who took on double duties as producer/star after reading Victor Teran's script. Directed by Teran and Youssef Delara ("Filly Brown"), "Snap" centers on Jim Whitman (Jake Hoffman), a brilliant but painfully introverted dubstep musician who develops a crush on a young social worker, Wendy (Reed). Initially drawn in by Jim's musical genius, Wendy soon comes to discover his inner demons as their romance takes a turn for the dour.

In between performing sets with McDonald in Austin last week, Indiewire sat down with Reed to discuss her unique experience at this year's festival, getting her start by co-writing and acting in the coming-of-age Sundance smash "Thirteen," and saying goodbye to "Twilight."

You hold quite the unique position at this festival. What's the whole experience of premiering a film here while showcasing your music been like?

I'm trying to just absorb everything that's going on and stay in it. I'm just beginning in my life to realize the importance of staying in moments instead of just getting through work. Doing press for a film can feel like work, but music shows and stuff like that, I just need to be there and be in it.

"I had to remain in a really dark place in that movie so it was really hard to watch because it brings up all of the insecurities."

It's funny happenstance that "Snap" is such a music-based film.

Yeah, that's weird right? I know nothing about dubstep and I said to the directors, "Do you think I need to research dustup for Wendy?" We came to the conclusion that Wendy would have a similar relationship to dustup that I have, which is a general appreciation for the music. 

Making the film was really hard. It's super dark. I'm scared of everything. I had to remain in a really dark place in that movie so it was hard to watch because it brings up all of the insecurities. Wendy is constantly questioning everything she does. I was in that place in my mind to reach such a vulnerable, kind of exposed place. It's hard to watch because I go back to that.

Watching it I was reminded a lot of the first film I saw you in, "Thirteen." 

I love that movie. That will always be the most special film for obvious reasons.

Because of your personal ties to the material?

Yeah. It's the first thing I ever did. It was that movie that made me want to go in this direction. I am where I am because of it. 

"Thirteen" Fox Searchlight

Was taking on "Snap" a conscious decision to go back to darker material?

I guess it was. I don't ever say to my agents (maybe I should), I want to do this because it's mainstream, or I want to do this because it's indie. I just like what I like. I read a script and if I love it, I love it. I loved what Youssef did with "Filly Brown." I love the life -- that movie had such life and such charisma. I was really attracted to such intelligent characters.

Most of the time when I read scripts for female characters, their purpose is exactly that. They're put in the movie to serve a purpose, to be beautiful or be sexy. I just felt like Victor gave me the opportunity to play someone who had a different purpose.

The Q&A at the Alamo following the premiere got pretty heated when an audience member accused "Snap" of labeling schizophrenics as inherently violent. What do make of that viewpoint?

Certainly I don't feel like I deserve to be attacked for anything. Art is provoking, it's sensitive. Believe me, I'm very sensitive to that. I didn't want to say this on stage because I didn't want it to become a thing. My little brother's autistic, and recently with the Newton shooting, Adam Lanza was autistic and yada yada... I was standing behind Autism Speaks to do everything I could to disassociate autism from violence. In this particular case, I can see why she was upset by that, but I feel like this film is for an intelligent audience; this is a specific story that taps into things that are very scary for people. Of course it would be absolutely crazy and ludicrous to say that everyone with schizophrenia is violent. If that's what people take away from this, that's their fault. It's fiction. It's a story. 

"Twilight" NewLine

You have the most fascinating journey out of the whole "Twilight" cast, given how you got into acting kind of haphazardly via "Thirteen" and now you're part of one of the biggest film franchises of all time.

I feel like I'm not as enveloped by that as some of the other people i worked with. I don't view myself as what other people in those films view themselves as. I don't think I'm a superstar. I don't feel it's made me or it's guaranteed anything for me. I just feel like I was a part of those things. I can disconnect from that. All of those things -- fame, feeling loved by people that don't know you -- I don't get excited by that. If anything, it makes me nervous and it gives me anxiety. I feel like I'm a part of something that isn't real.

Now that the "Twilight" chapter in your life has wrapped, what kind of career do you envision for yourself?

I want to do everything I possibly can. When I talk about music and why I started singing (I started six months ago!), I think back to Rita Wilson. Rita Wilson's like a mentor to me. If there's any career I can model it would be Rita Wilson, Tina Fey or Nia Vardalos. That is so empowering, to be able to say fuck it, I'm not pretty enough for your movie, let me write my own role.

To be a woman and have that kind of power, that's what I want to be. I want to create opportunities for other girls. With music, Rita, two years ago, decided to release an album at whatever age she is. That is what made me sing with Paul. I was scared of people judging me, but then I saw Rita sitting up there and I went, "Why am I not good enough?" I just want to try opening doors for myself and other people who have this desire to be creative.


  • Adam | May 19, 2013 10:30 AMReply

    Firstly, the Twilight movies suck! The only reason why I sat through the first two was because of Nikki Reed. I didn't even bother watching the last two. Secondly, Nikki is amazing. She's a goddess. Anyway, what does this interview have to do with Twilight? It's mainly about Snap. Does anyone know when it will be available for download, or where can I buy or watch it?

  • Beccy | April 14, 2013 8:10 AMReply

    Hey to all of you who attack Nikki, you are just jealous because she's beautiful & intelligent!
    Nikki's my age, the Movie Thirteen touched everyone from that Generation! Her acting was unbelievable good, so realistic and it captured everything that young Girls go through when they struggle with Parents, Drugs, School, Friends and growing up. Trying to find their own Identity. Ugly STEW is a little fucking Girl I dont give a fuck about. I will always love Nikke & Evan for Thirteen :) When I watch this Movie, its like watching my Puberty aswell!

    Stay how you are Nikki, Love ;)

  • jlh | March 20, 2013 2:14 PMReply

    It's hilarious how Kristen's fans call Nikki a D or C lister yet Nikki has more movie projects than Kristen. And she didn't even have to sleep with directors to get them.

  • Mj | March 20, 2013 10:01 AMReply

    If there's any jealousy or bitterness I see here, it's from Kristen Stewart's pathetic fans. Firstly, Nikki is happily married while the status of Kristen & Rob's relationship is still unclear. Secondly, Nikki stepping out of the Twilight shadow while Kristen will always be known as that miserable emotionless girl called Bella. Nikki is actually nice to her fans while Kristen sometimes acts like a total diva. Nikki is actually working while Kristen has to fuck directors to get a job.

  • Heather | March 20, 2013 2:32 AMReply

    lmao I think it's hilarious that Kristen fans have to go to every single possible article to bitch and moan about other stars. Some of you need to get a life. Kristen doesn't care about any of you.

    Got nothing to look forward to with your star, so you have to taint everyone else who gets their work done.

  • Mary | March 20, 2013 2:14 AMReply

    This is an article about Nikki Reed not twilight's Edward and Bella AKA Robert and Kristen. Why did all the comments turn into that? Why does it always turn into that? The movies are over and she is on to other things. It's time to put your hate for Rosalie away now. That character is long gone. And for the LOVE OF GOD she is married. Why keep on insulting her and her husband with this nonsense about how much she wants another man when she is married? She leaves all of Kristen fans alone why can't you leave her alone?

  • Mary | March 20, 2013 12:59 AMReply

    Nikki, really got the raw end of the deal through some of the louder Twilight fans and I'm so glad she was brave and took chances. The mentors she has chosen are great ladies with a lot of class and great talent. Nikki is going to go somewhere in the business and the whole twilight business that she had to put up with will be behind her. It took a lot of class to restrain herself for everything horrible that she was/is accused of and said about her most wouldn't have been so quiet and taken the hate. Good luck Nikki. Your patience will pay off and your surrounding yourself around the right people and mentors and you are going to accomplish and meet your goals! Your one hell of a strong woman.

  • Pan | March 19, 2013 7:47 PMReply

    Why the hate Krisbians? In what part of the interview Nikki mentions KS? yep, she is not mentioned here, you're all just assuming is her she's talking about. What does that says about your perception of Kristen?

  • Jo | March 19, 2013 8:02 PM

    Why are you assuming that it is 'Krisbians' who are commenting? What does that say about your own assumptions? Nikki has made plenty of digs at Rob... about not being able to get near him because of bodyguards etc... just sayin ;)

  • HUH? | March 19, 2013 7:41 PMReply

    You people are absolutely nuts.

  • Kate | March 19, 2013 7:00 PMReply

    i think rob deserves someone better, too. but rob fans like you are so embarrassing; you need help. i you really believed in the shit you say, you wouldn't be so angry. if the whole thing is just pr, you wouldn't hate kristen that much. you know the truth. you just wrote 14185115 comments about kristen for a nikki article. girlfriend, the pathetic one are YOU. you're obsessed with kristen. get help, then a life. you sad sad person.

    nikki is lovely. but every actor who's not successful says the same thing; i don't want to be that famous, i don't want an oscar... blah, blah, blah. sure.

  • Mari | March 19, 2013 6:27 PMReply

    loved thirteen,curious about Empire State, not so curious about snap.

    let's get to the twihards, shall we?
    I'll copy and paste part of the interview,dissect it and give my opinion.

    " I don't view myself as what other people in those films view themselves as"
    What do the other people in this film see themselves as? because clearly I don't remember seeing/reading any of them saying how they see themselves, please, give me links of interviews if I'm wrong.Some of them ARE superstars, whether we like it or not (ask any Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner fans or any entertainment journalist and you'll get your answer).To support your argument and point of view, please exemplify nikki.By not doing so we, the readers, are free to reach conclusions, and my conclusion is that you are throwing shade at all your costars from twilight.

    "I don't think I'm a superstar"
    Good, because you aren't.You're at the most a C list actress. not untalented, but not a superstar.

    " I don't feel it's made me or it's guaranteed anything for me"

    I agree in parts, what made you was thirteen, but Twilight is what is giving you guarantees nowadays. some of your movies before twilight are ok and some reached a certain level of fame(mini's first time and lords of the dogtown anyone?), but your other works are simply bad. You were on the O.C for christ sake,that's hardly something that would put you in the movies you are making post-twilight.If it wasn't for your audition and casting with you friend and frequent supporter Catherine Hardwick for your role in twilight you wouldn't be making Snap or Empire State or would have a succesful line of jewlery(which, is beautiful BTW, and If not for twilight,I don't think we would have seen it or been advertised like it is right now) .Twilight cemented your visibility out there, and that's what getting you contracts.

    "I just feel like I was a part of those things. I can disconnect from that.All of those things -- fame, feeling loved by people that don't know you -- I don't get excited by that If anything, it makes me nervous and it gives me anxiety."

    Here's the biggest problem in your interview. You sound ungrateful and disrespectful for twilight cast mates and fans, which I think you aren't.You are part of "those things"as much as any other actor involved,but the way I see it,your castmates have a different opinion from you,they can't disconect, quite the contrary, they moved on from this film to other projects but still understand and are thankful for what this movie made for their career.being loved by any person or fans, even if you don't know them,is something to be cherished,not be disconected. I just checked you twitter, and by seeing you RTing compliments from your fans, most of them from twilight(check their pics), leads me to believe you are lying here. You get excited by that.It affects you like any other work did. You should be verfy proud and own it. just a quick google or youtube search proves you are excited by that, and yet here you are contradicting your actions with words.which one speaks louder?

    "I feel like I'm a part of something that isn't real"
    I'm feeling a little sorry for Nikki, I'm under the impression that when it comes to twilight, She can't express herself without sounding bitter, which I think she isn't.She surely knows that the fans are supportive. sure,It will dissipate, but that doesn't make the caring and love some people and her castmates put into this film fake.

    in conclusion: Nikki can't articulate her thoughts well when it comes to twilight (fans and castmates), unless she means exactly what I got from this interview.

  • Ouch | March 19, 2013 6:03 PMReply

    A bit bitter Nikki....really bite the hand that feeds you. You have no success or anything to show for it....move on get over it.

  • Mary | March 20, 2013 2:07 AM

    The problem is Nikki got so much hate that was not deserved she has to over think every word she says because there are some twilight fans that will burn her alive if given the chance and have been extremely rude and mean to her publicly on the social networks. She did nothing but was friends with two people and then she was not. None of us knows what happens except the gossip and we all know how gossip goes but that did not stop the frantic Kristen fans on how they treated her. People want to blame her for anything negative and that is just not fair. So with her wording here I don't blame her one bit. Sad yes. Understandable absolutely. She could be what the fanatic fans have accused her of and really been rude and obnoxious but she was not. But as we can see she was still put down. When she got married instead of wow she got married they made fun of her and called her names. None of it makes sense. When she made a song with her husband the same thing. When it went on the sound track for BD the same song and dance called her a fame whore, but Rob had two songs on the first movie's sound tracks. It's a double standard and that she does not deserve. IMHO he deserved for his songs to be heard and so did Nikki and her husband. But Kristen fans had to keep pushing like we see here. Seriously can you blame her?

  • Marie | March 19, 2013 5:59 PMReply

    The homewreckertrashunemployeddirtybitch (aka KStew)'s fans are pathetic ..

  • Mo | March 19, 2013 8:08 PM

    You aren't showing the Rob fans in the best light here... just saying!

  • POOR SHEEPS | March 19, 2013 5:57 PMReply

    Paula,Anna, Jane I hope you guys don't have a meltdown crises when Robsten finally split for good!

  • Marie | March 20, 2013 4:32 AM

    what it could make you think that I am a fan of Rob Patttison? are you 13 y old? there must be a reason for not apreciate nor acting skills or the personality of your idol kStew? i can not just have good taste?

  • kia | March 19, 2013 5:53 PMReply

    Yes the crazy/Krisbians are at it again.

  • Marie | March 20, 2013 4:34 AM

    Sorry, my reply was for Mo

  • Jenna | March 19, 2013 5:50 PMReply

    You people are crazy to say Nikki is ugly, and all these other things you're typing about her.

    She is by the far the most beautiful, and nicest out of all the cast. Just look at all the fans who have shared their encounters with her. You people are disgusting. No wonder you all like Kristen. Y'all like trash when it comes to stars. Nikki is amazing, and some of you are just pained to see other people succeed. Kristen is not grateful and is a pain in the ass to her fans. She doesn't care about any of you. All she cares about is your money. For drugs, and to buy ugly hipster clothes.

  • Jenna | March 19, 2013 5:50 PMReply

    You people are crazy to say Nikki is ugly, and all these other things you're typing about her.

    She is by the far the most beautiful, and nicest out of all the cast. Just look at all the fans who have shared their encounters with her. You people are disgusting. No wonder you all like Kristen. Y'all like trash when it comes to stars. Nikki is amazing, and some of you are just pained to see other people succeed. Kristen is not grateful and is a pain in the ass to her fans. She doesn't care about any of you. All she cares about is your money. For drugs, and to buy ugly hipster clothes.

  • PRsten fans are pathetic | March 19, 2013 4:30 PMReply

    Nikki is working and is married. Kristen fans are jealous as always. You know, the homewrecker has many jobs and is married with who? oh yes! She is a homewrecker who f*ucks with a married man and with Katy's assistant. So sad... And what about her PR relationship with Pattinson? Kristen Stewart is a loser hated by everyone and her fans hates Nikki and JLaw. Pathetic...

  • Jane | March 19, 2013 5:36 PM

    GIRL, you need help! Step away from the computer. Why on earth would Kristen be jealous of Reed? Because she is married? HAAAAAAAAAAA! Kristen isn't stupid enough to marry a guy she knew a few months! Just wait for the divorce announcement! Kristen was the highest paid actress of 2012, the only lead role actress who's films crossed 1 billion dollars. What Nikki films have gone anywhere in the 5 years of Twilight? NONE! ZERO. Now she follows her American Idol reject husband around pretending to be a singer and pathetically brown noses celebrity wives like Wilson. AS IF she could have a career like Tina Fey! And honey, your beloved Rob is still with the 'homewrecker'. CRY CRY CRY!

  • NRfan | March 19, 2013 4:55 PM

    Wow did you just comment to start things? Pathetic.

  • anna | March 19, 2013 4:33 PM

    Nikki is that you???Calm down sweetie

  • anna | March 19, 2013 4:11 PMReply

    why so bitter Nikki??Twilight gave you money be thankful for it!!!!!

  • PRsteb fans are pathetic | March 19, 2013 4:24 PM

    Thankful like the homewecker? Because she is an idiot who think that it's a superstar when is a loser with 0 jobs.

  • Ron | March 19, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    You are not a superstar Niki, you are only D list actress and ungratefull actress!!!

  • Dina | March 19, 2013 5:54 PM

    0 jobs? I guess you're not able to count. Focus and The Big Shoe. That makes 2 projects. Oh and homewrecker? Really? The director wreck his own family. He did have to think about his own family,not Kristen. Oh and let's forget about the fact that the director and his wife filed for divorce in 2011,because they both cheated on each other...let's forget about it! I guess your venom is corroding your last neuron,dear nonnie.

  • PRsten fans are pathetic | March 19, 2013 4:25 PM

    Are you talking about the homewrecker Kristen Stewart?

  • niagirl | March 19, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Rita can't sing either.

  • Kane | March 19, 2013 3:32 PMReply

    SIT DOWN Nikki Reed! She constantly throws digs at her costars that the world actually knows! Is it jealousy? She should be grateful that they took the heat and kept her in a well paid job for 5 years. Twilight maintained interest for 5 years because of Kristen and Rob and to an extent, Taylor.. they are all so modest and not the sort to think of themselves as 'superstars' even if they are. Sour milk from this one, let's see her career transition. I think she is forgetting that Rita Wilson married a very famous man that allowed her opportunity and money to have a career. Nikki married an American Idol reject......


  • NRfan | March 20, 2013 10:09 AM

    LMAO Kristen Stewart fans are hideous and crazy. But it doesn't really bother me as much as it used to. Kristen pathetic fandom might hate Nikki but the whole world hates Kristen. Especially after the Oscars, oh how I enjoyed the backlash on Trampire then.

  • PRsten are pathetic | March 19, 2013 4:27 PM

    And the homewrecker is f*cking with a bad director and now with Katy Perry's assistant

  • PRsten fans are pathetic | March 19, 2013 4:23 PM

    I love who the homewrecker fans think that everyone envy KS. Twilight is not REAL. Twilight is crap. She is not bitter, she is saying the truth. PRsten fans always hated her because she was the REAL Rob's girlfriend. You all are so bitter like Kristen Stewart. How is Rupert? You know, she f*cks with him.

  • PAULA | March 19, 2013 4:03 PM

    Yeah I'm agree and besides she's still hurt because she haven't a chance with Robert, come on girl you're already married just get over it! Grow up!