The Truth About Evan Rachel Wood's Relationship With Zach Villa

Evan Rachel Wood, best known for playing Dolores Abernathy in the HBO series "Westworld" and voicing Queen Iduna in "Frozen II," is relatively private about the status of her love life. The first known relationship Wood was in was with English actor Jamie Bell, who is well acclaimed for playing the title character in the 2000 film "Billy Elliot," and lasted for a year in 2005.

Following their split, Wood started dating musician Marilyn Manson. In January 2007, the then-19-year-old starlet and Manson, who was almost twice her age (36 at the time), publicized their relationship. The pair got engaged in January 2010 and called it quits months later. In February 2021, Wood opened up about her relationship with Manson, noting in a statement she posted on Instagram, "He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission" (via The New York Times).

In 2012, Wood got back together with Jamie Bell, marrying him in October that year. The couple welcomed a son named Jack in July 2013 and ended their marriage in May 2014. That same year, Wood, who came out as bisexual in 2011, had a short fling with actor Katherine Moennig (via Bustle). In 2017, Wood went public with her engagement to Zach Villa, whom you might recognize as the serial killer, Richard Ramirez, from the ninth season of "American Horror Story" and called it off seven months later. Here are some lesser-known facts about Wood's relationship with Villa.

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The pair met while performing in a cabaret

Those who truly know Evan Rachel Wood already are well aware of her musical abilities. Zach Villa has also acquired quite a bit of fame as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The two met while performing in a cabaret in 2015. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Wood revealed that the cabaret was organized by a theatre company, saying, "It started with For the Record Live, which is a theater company that puts together these cabarets based around famous directors, where you act out the most famous scenes from their movies and sing songs off the soundtracks." Wood, being a great admirer of John Hughes movies, took part in the production that paid a tribute to the director.

Per Wood, she and Villa connected when the two were assigned to be various characters from John Hughes movies, including the Rebel (John Bender, originally played by Judd Nelson) and the Basket Case (Allison Reynolds, originally played by Ally Sheedy) from the 1985 classic "The Breakfast Club." Villa agreed, telling the outlet, "We had this chemistry. I remember the first scene we did together –- we both sort of knew each other's moves and it just felt right." Later on, recalling how she met Villa during a rather tough time, Wood candidly told Billboard, "When Zach and I met, I was in a time in my life where I was tired of making myself smaller for other people and I was ready to overcome oppressive situations and begin a time of rebirth."

The inspiration behind their band

When the For The Record production came to an end, Evan Rachel Wood found it difficult to bid Zach Villa goodbye (via Rolling Stone). The duo loved working with each other so much that they decided to collaborate on a song titled "Oh Yeah" as an one-time venture. The song further inspired them to form a band, which they named Rebel and a Basketcase. Regarding the formation of the band, Wood told Rolling Stone, "The idea is that we just didn't want to have to stop pretending to be in a John Hughes film."

Soon after releasing "Oh Yeah" in May 2016, the duo released two EPs called "Rebel and a Basketcase 1" (consisting of "Girl on the Wire," "Oh Yeah," and "Lightning Look ) and "Rebel and a Basketcase 2" (consisting of "Just Friends," "Escondido," and "La Fée") in July and September 2016 respectively. In March 2017, the band of two released their last single, "Today" (via Spotify). As the official website of the alternative/indie band notes, they have an eclectic collection of musical influences, from David Bowie and The Cure to The XX.

Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa sparked dating rumors in 2016

Speculation regarding Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa dating each other first circulated when the duo was spotted holding hands during a vacation they spent together in late 2016 (via Bustle). Though Wood and Villa didn't publicly announce their relationship, the couple did clear up all doubt when they attended the Critics Choice Awards in December 2016. According to Us Magazine, Wood and Villa were apparently together during the entire event, and the bandmates were spotted hand-in-hand as they walked the red carpet.

As the outlet notes, getting off the stage after accepting the Best Actress in a Drama Series award for playing Dolores Abernathy in "Westworld," Wood warmly embraced Villa, who already had his arms open in order to congratulate her. The pair then locked lips, further proving the rumors to be true. After the awards show, the two attended an afterparty and danced the night away.

The couple had matching engagement rings

It seems like the 2016-2017 awards season was an essential moment for Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa to share the milestones they hit with the world. One and a half months after the duo's Critic's Choice Awards appearance, they made another big statement during the Screen Actors Guild Awards that took place in January 2017. Villa had his arms wrapped around Wood's waist as the couple entered L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium for the event. Wood sported a beautiful navy blue two-piece velvet suit, while Villa also turned up in a two-piece, in a few shades lighter blue than that of Wood's. However (you guessed it), the suits weren't the only thing that adorned the celebrity couple. The ultimate showstopper was the matching pair of silver bands that the two wore on the ring fingers of their left hands.

According to a report by People, while having a conversation with Rami Malek, Wood was overheard introducing Villa as her fiancé to the "Bohemian Rhapsody" actor. The news was later confirmed to Us Weekly by Wood's rep. At the time, Page Six claimed that Villa was still married to his former bandmate Amy Landon, who also happens to be an actor and audio-book narrator (and former bandmate of his in a band named Cylvia). However, an insider told the publication, "Zach has been separated from his ex for quite some time." 

Having similar interests, the actors seemed to be made for each other

Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa definitely did look perfect together, but they were also truly, highly compatible. With everything from taking interest in the same things to having similar beliefs, the couple seemed to complement one another. We already have witnessed the acting skills of both Wood and Villa, but their musical careers are still pretty underrated. The official website of Rebel and a Basketcase notes that Wood has been involved with musical theater since her childhood days and started writing songs during her teen years. Villa is also a singer-songwriter, whom the website describes as a self-taught musician who plays several instruments.

Their political views, which heavily influence their activism, seem to match too. As a result, their music spoke for them as well as their beliefs. Various interviews of the duo make it evident that the artists have also always been vocal about women's and LGBTQ+ rights (via Bustle). Wood and Villa have often been spotted in similar outfits, emphasizing the similar taste they have when it comes to fashion choices. Another thing they have in common is their love for karaoke. While speaking to Rolling Stone, Wood revealed that a majority of the Rebel and a Basketcase songs were written in the "karaoke lounge in my house, complete with a tiki bar and hula-girl lamps and disco balls."

Evan Rachel Wood once directed Zach Villa in a music video

In a February 2017 interview with Billboard, Evan Rachel Wood revealed that the concept of the music video of their song "Lightning Look" (from the EP "Rebel and a Basketcase 1") was inspired by the Moonlight Rollerway in Los Angeles, a location where the actor went skating as a child. She recalled how she once went skating there and found it to be a perfect location for the music video. She told the outlet "the image of Zach in a roller rink by himself playing guitar came into my head and I grabbed him and said, 'I need to direct this one because I can see it.'"

Wood really did go on to direct the entire video skating. The crew behind the production also filmed it while on roller skates. Villa, during the same interview, spoke about his experience, noting, "Something that I learned about Evan as an artist over the years is that you can feel that she's working towards something and you may not completely understand it, but if you give it a second, it will materialize." He further praised his fiancée:  "I've been impressed time and again by her aesthetic. She has an aesthetic that no one else does and the pictures she's painting are out of this world."

She felt comfortable with him

While discussing her journey with Zach Villa as bandmates, Evan Rachel Wood told ContentMode, "We not only had great chemistry but it seemed like we had the same vision for what we wanted to achieve, not just musically but the general concept. " Wood, who began writing songs as a teenager, further revealed that "Zach was the first person I felt comfortable enough with to be vulnerable and share my writing and melodies. He was really patient and nurturing and it felt safe."

In an interview with Nylon, when the bandmates/couple were asked who acts more like a rebel and who emulates the basketcase when it comes to real-life scenarios, the "Westworld" star was quick to respond, saying, "Like gender-fluidity, it changes day to day, minute to minute, hour to hour ... you get the gist. We identify with both at different times." During the same interview, Wood frankly described their dynamic as "Thing One and Thing Two" (humanoid twins from the 1957 children's book called "The Cat in the Hat").

According to Villa, they complement each other

Appreciating Evan Rachel Wood's vocal and writing capabilities, Zach Villa told ContentMode, "Her talent was apparent, but when it seemed like our collaboration gave her a stage to fully explore the writer inside of her, I [happily] obliged. That she feels comfortable with me in that regard is an honor, and a pleasure." He then added that Wood helped him dive into the depths of various musical territories.

Wood told Rolling Stone, "[To Villa] I feel like you rein me in and I pull you out." She added that she took on more of the lyric-writing, while Villa had more of the musical responsibilities.

Speaking about his experience of working with Wood, he revealed, "It's incredible to work with her, see how her mind works, and see the connections she makes to music emotionally. And her explosiveness and dynamic ability as a performer is hard to rival." However, their rivalry was rather sweet, as Villa revealed he had been longing for someone who could prove a match for him. He added that the two inspire and motivate one another, which makes for a perfect match. 

Evan Rachel Wood's Twitter post hinted at the pair's split

Although Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa's relationship seemed to be a perfect one, even the best things don't last forever. While the world believed that the actor had finally found one true soulmate, that was not really the case for Wood. In September 2017, nearly eight months after the duo went public with their engagement, one of Wood's tweets raised speculation that Wood and Villa's engagement had been called off. Wood, who quit Twitter in 2020, shared the since-deleted tweet on her 30th birthday (September 7, 2017) and it read, "All the single ladies!" with three praise hands emoticons and a winking face emoji (via Us Magazine).

In January 2017, Bustle noted that the duo often took to Instagram to share couples photos of themselves, but the pictures were nowhere to be found on Villa or Wood's grid, the latter of which was, as of the time of writing this article, made private. However, there still are some photos of the two, which were shared for the purpose of promoting their band, on Villa's Instagram profile as well as on that of their band.