She may look 25, but she's not. talks to Nikki Reed, the young star of the controversial Sundance Film Festival hit ''Thirteen''

By Germain Lussier
Updated August 08, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Nikki Reed: Jean-Paul Aussenard/


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Nikki Reed cowrote and stars in ”Thirteen,” the Sundance Film Festival hit about drug use, shoplifting, and wanton sex among the Los Angeles junior high school set. So what’s next for her? Getting a driver’s license — in a year or so, when she’s old enough.

Reed, now 15, says she drew from her own experiences to make ”Thirteen” (opening Aug. 20) with 48-year-old Catherine Hardwicke, who took home Sundance’s Best Director Award. The film follows two middle school girls (Reed and Evan Rachel Wood of TV?s “Once and Again”) as they dabble in lesbianism, do drugs and beat each other senseless, and perform oral sex on their classmates. caught up with Reed to find out what it’s like to cause a Hollywood controversy before you’ve even started the 10th grade.

Your movie is pretty raunchy. Should 13 year-old girls be allowed to see it?
Absolutely. If girls are going through it, they should at least be able to watch it. A small percentage maybe aren’t ready to see a movie like this, but then there are the girls more like me, who look 25 and strut around the school.

Do you think the R rating will make kids even more interested in seeing ”Thirteen”?
Sure. If I was 13 right now and there was a movie called “Thirteen” and it was rated PG-13, why would I go see it? Like what could possibly be that great? But if it?s R, it?s more tempting.

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