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I co-wrote the script with a 13-year-old family friend, Nikki Reed, who was going through some very tough times in middle school. She had turned model – beautiful at 13 and male attention, drugs, her parent’s divorce, and  peer pressure had taken its toll. I had known her since she was 5 years old, but suddenly this creative kid hated her parents and the world.  Somehow, she didn’t hate me, so I started helping out her parents – taking her to museums, teaching her to surf and to draw.  But she really wasn’t interested in those things – she wanted to be an actress.   So I took her to acting classes and gave her books by Meisner and Haagen.  I suggested we write a script and if it came out good, I would direct it and she would star in it. This seemed like a crazy dream since neither of us had done these jobs before, but we hunkered down and wrote the script over the Christmas break and five months later we made the film. It was back to low-budget, no-permit guerilla-style filmmaking, but it worked somehow.   All the lessons I’d learned from the directors and producers and actors paid off. Holly Hunter, Evan Rachel Wood, and Nikki put their hearts into the project – and their work was amazing. (Evan and Holly got Golden Globe nominations, Nikki won an Indie Spirit Award, and Holly got a Academy Award nomination.) Thirteen won the director’s award at Sundance and top awards at film festivals around the world. Somehow telling Nikki’s very specific personal story touched people of all ages and many other countries. ” - Catherine Hardwicke about Nikki and Thirteen. 

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