She began acting professionally and, at five, auditioned for Neil Jordan’s film Interview with the Vampire (1994), with Tom Cruise. Her brothers remained in North Carolina with their father, while Wood moved to Los Angeles with her mother to pursue acting.
'It was devastating being separated from my brothers.
'So it was intense and really painful, going from speaking to her every day, then having to establish yourself as an adult.
I went to New York for a year and then I travelled around the world. We have the best relationship.’ At 19 she hooked up with Marilyn Manson, then 38. 'But I’ve stayed single since last summer,’ she continues.
'It’s just confusing; the routine you’ve had for your whole life is suddenly thrown completely out of whack.
'We were actually more like sisters, joking around and giggling and playing pranks.
'It was so much fun being raised in the South,’ she says, sighing wistfully.
'I was a tomboy, playing baseball , running around the woods; it was awesome.’ Those carefree days were short-lived, curtailed by Wood’s passion for performing. 'But that’s how I learnt to deal with disappointment; it made me stronger and I never got that upset again.’ When she was nine her parents divorced.
I wasn’t even sure I was going to do it when I signed on for the part; I was planning on chickening out. She said, “Look, I’ve done every kind of nudity you could possibly do.”’ Wood has switched from her musical Californian accent to Winslet-English.
'“Trust me, you won’t regret it.” She was literally next to the camera giving me the thumbs-up the whole time, and afterwards she gave me a vodka and tonic and said, “Here’s to your first full-frontal! 'I started doing plays when I was four and did my first television movie when I was five.
She orders peppermint tea and smoked-salmon sandwiches, while chatting about her current musical obsession: 'I am a diehard Justin Bieber fan. I’m the last person in the world you’d expect to like him,’ she says of the tween pop sensation.