Nicole Houston "Nikki" Reed is an American film and television actress, screenwriter and model. She became known in 2003, after the release of the film Thirteen, in which she co-starred and co-wrote the screenplay. Reed has since appeared in several films, including Lords of Dogtown and Mini's First Time. She also portrays Rosalie Hale in The Twilight Saga. She is married to Paul McDonald.
Reed was born in West Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Cheryl Houston, a beautician, and Seth Reed, a set designer. She has an older brother, Nathan August Reed.
Reed has stated that her early home life was "complicated." Her parents divorced when Reed was two years old, and she was raised solely by her mother. In 2002, when Reed was 14 years old, she moved out of her mother's house and began living on her own, mainly in apartments of the Los Angeles area.
After Thirteen's success, Reed returned to Alexander Hamilton High School, but dropped out again after a year. She cited her experiences involving "mothers who were sneaking into the school at lunchtime to confront and harass her about the film" as the reason for her departure. She earned a high school diploma through homeschooling.
Reed and director Catherine Hardwicke finished the script for the semi-autobiographical film Thirteen in six days, a relatively short time for a Hollywood script to be written. Producers asked Reed to play a role in the film because they had trouble casting it, considering it an "uncomfortable" role for most young actresses. The film, starring Evan Rachel Wood, was released in 2003 with positive reviews, giving Reed some recognition in Hollywood as both an actress and a screenwriter. Following the film's release, Reed also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and hosted a number of award shows, including the Young Hollywood Awards (2003) and the Independent Spirit Awards Nomination Show, followed by the West Independent Spirits Awards, both in 2004.
Reed has continued to portray sexually promiscuous teenagers, including her character in Lords of Dogtown, also directed by Hardwicke. In early 2006, she appeared on the series The O.C., playing Sadie, a new love interest for the character Ryan Atwood. Reed noted she disagreed with the "trendy and shallow things" that The O.C. promoted, and that she appeared in the series only on the advice of her agents. Coincidentally, Reed appeared on The O.C. at the same time as later Twilight co-stars Cam Gigandet and Jackson Rathbone. Reed later commented that her decision to avoid appearances on television or in mainstream cinema was naïve. She explained that her avoidance was due to the thought that if it wasn’t an independent film, it wasn’t right for her.
One of her most distinctive roles was in [[Mini's First Time], which received a limited release in the United States on July 14, 2006. In the film, Reed played a teenager who, through seduction, involves her stepfather in a plot to murder her mother. Reed has noted that her character does not "understand the weight of consequence," and that she enjoyed playing someone who she describes as "crass" and having a "trucker's mouth." Reed's character participates in explicit sex scenes, which had to be filmed from the point of view of Reed's back, as she was 16 at the time and thus legally unable to film her scenes in a more explicit manner.
Reed wrote another script set in New Zealand between the 1960s and the 1980s. Reed has noted that she feels she is a versatile actress, but feels typecast in roles of "sexy bad girls," noting that producers often tell her that she is too "sexy" for a particular part.
On February 12, 2008, it was announced that Reed would portray Rosalie Hale in the film adaption of Twilight, which was directed by Catherine Hardwicke. In June 2008, Reed wrote a letter to her fans, thanking them for supporting her through the controversy that surrounded her, a brunette, being cast as Rosalie.
During a radio interview with Big O and Dukes of WJFK 106.7 FM, Jason Mewes stated that he is doing a movie called K-11 with Reed and Kristen Stewart, also of Twilight. The film, directed by Stewart's mother, takes place in a dorm of the Los Angeles County Jail, and was to feature both Stewart and Reed as male characters. However, after being asked about the project in an interview, Reed expressed that she is no longer part of the K-11 project. In 2003, she received her first award, a Nantucket Film Festival Award for 'Best Screenplay' for the movie 'Thirteen' which she shared with Catherine Hardwicke. In 2010, she also received an award for 'Superstar In The Making' at the Young Hollywood Awards. In November 2009, Reed directed a music video for her good friend Sage while in London. Reed stated that they didn't have much time, or money, but it's something she is very proud of. Reed also intends to direct a music video for the independent rock band 100 Monkeys, which is fronted by her Twilight costar, Jackson Rathbone.
In November 2010, it was announced, that Reed will star alongside Hayden Panettiere in the film Downers Grove, a movie adaptation of Michael Hornberg's novel. The story is about a high school senior from the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, who is paranoid about a curse at her school that causes someone in the graduating class to die in a bizarre way before the year's end. The screenplay was written by Bret Easton Ellis, the novelist behind such works as The Rules of Attraction and American Psycho.
In December 2011, it was announced that Reed has joined the cast of Pawn, an indie crime thriller directed by David A. Armstrong. The film also stars Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Common, Michael Chiklis, Sean Faris, Stephen Lang, Marton Csokas, and Jessica Szohr.