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Nikki Reed claims she’s shy to sing in front of people, but lately she just can’t help it: The actress and newlywed is grooving along to a reggae-pop song on the set of a photo shoot for a collaboration between her jewelry line, Mattlin Era, and 7 For All Mankind. In fact, she’s belting out the tunes with so much feeling, you just want to help a sister out and hand her a hairbrush-slash-mic.
Her husband of almost two years, the musician Paul McDonald, is the not-so-secret sauce. (The two sing together on his recent album, The Best Part.) Plus, she’s channeling their romance into something tangible, with her jewelry collection for the premium denim label, all based on this idea of love and connectivity. Between bites of her vegan meal and thumbing through iPhone pictures of her beloved dogs, she chatted exclusively with R29 on the inspiration behind her designs, her innate artistry, and her other love — Yahtzee.
I can’t move. I almost feel like I have the flu because of how much fun I had.”
No, this isn’t an aging star feeling the effects of the previous night’s high-class Oscar shenanigans. It’s Nikki Reed, the 24-year-old co-star of the “Twilight” franchise, recovering from a day spent, well, relaxing.
“I’m 24 years old and my idea of fun is going to my father’s house to play Yahtzee on a Friday night,” she said.
Reed — who gave us a call while promoting her new film “Pawn,” a hostage drama-turned-mob movie — isn’t your typical young Hollywood starlet. On top of making movies, she also has an arts and crafts addiction, in addition to writing songs and movies — remember a little traumatic something called “Thirteen,” 10 years ago? She co-wrote that just a few years after hitting puberty, based largely on her own wild youth. The now-married Reed claims to be in bed by 9, and gets vocally excited over things like low-maintenance plant life.
Nikki Reed is a happily married woman, but she says a successful Hollywood relationship doesn’t come easy.
“I feel like especially being in this crazy, weirdo world that we’re in, where we’re making movies and people are on tour, it’s just so easy to lose track of what’s important,” the Twilight actress, 24, recently told PEOPLE.
But Reed and her American Idol alum hubby, Paul McDonald, 28, do their best to beat the odds of failing at an industry marriage.
“I feel like it’s really important to just be with each other and make the other person a priority,” Reed says, adding that they continue spending even more time together by collaborating on music.
“We’re actually writing a full-length [album] and we should be releasing that in the next couple of months,” she says, “and hopefully doing some touring in Europe. We’re playing a few shows at SXSW.”
Listing Mumford and Sons, The Civil Wars, Of Monsters and Men and the Alabama Shakes as her current favorite artists, she credits McDonald for getting her more involved in the music scene.
“Thank God for Paul,” she says. “He’s really expanded my musical taste and knowledge. I do love the fact that the careers that we both have chosen kind of take you away from reality very easily. I think it’s really nice that we can do this together because it kind of centers us.”
But there is still no rush to expand their family.
“Right now we’re just so focused on what we’re doing together musically and where we’re at in our careers,” Reed says. “I can’t try to predict what life has in store for us because obviously at a certain point, you throw your hands up and say what’s meant to happen will happen. But right now at this moment, I don’t feel like I’m insistent on that. I just feel really content.”
If I was having a pampering night in, I’d put my ridiculous white headband on that lifts all my hair out of my face. Then, first thing’s first, I shave my legs. That’s a special occasion, I’m not the kind of girl that shaves every morning in the shower – I have a special designated bath time, a date with my razor!
Nikki Reed stands by what she said in November shortly after getting hitched: She and her American Idol alum hubby Paul McDonald want kids “one day,” but definitely not any time soon.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like it’s a mistake for people to get married and then just [have kids right away],” the Twilight star, 24, told PEOPLE last week at the MTV Movie Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater in L.A.
“I feel like it is the pressure of the family making them do it. We want to travel and be able to fly on an airplane without a baby and just have freedom.”
Aside from their own personal preference not to dive right into parenthood, the happy couple doesn’t really have the time.
“It’s been a little stressful [lately] because it’s been so busy,” Reed says. “Paul’s been recording his album full time, and I’ve been shooting, so we’re both very busy right now.”
But it seems like the musician, 27, and the actress have nailed down the key to making their showbiz romance succeed.
Says McDonald: “We try to stay together as much as we can. I’ll [sometimes] go to set with her and she’ll come with me to the studio.”
“You just have to make the other person a priority over your work, which is a very controversial statement, I guess,” Reed adds. “People, especially in this business, don’t think that’s a good idea, but that’s what you have to do.”
Nikki Reed and TRESemmé take you behind-the-scenes of the most stylish place on earth, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC! Each week Nikki will go back stage at a different show to see what happens when hair and fashion meet on the runway. You can find new episodes of Style Setters with Nikki Reed at http://youtube.com/Tresemme.
Newlyweds Nikki Reed and Paul McDonald gave MTV News an exclusive look at their latest labor of love on Tuesday — the video for their first musical collaboration, “Now That I’ve Found You.” And while “Twilight” star Reed didn’t necessarily see the sweet ditty ending up on the “Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ soundtrack, she did reveal that husband McDonald is in the early stages of submitting a song for potential inclusion in the saga’s final installment.
“Paul has been speaking with them about potentially attempting to write something,” Reed said. “Nothing is set in stone. He will be working on songs to submit. It would be a great, great thing. The music supervisor [Alexandra Patsavas] on that, as well as [director] Bill Condon, have great taste.”
“It’s very preliminary,” McDonald confirmed. “It’s kind of one of those things. I write all the time.”
Over the past four years, the “Twilight Saga” soundtracks have gained a reputation for catapulting artists to new heights, with acts like Paramore, Christina Perri and Joy Formidable all benefiting from their confab with the Cullen clan. And as the former “American Idol” contestant looks to join that auspicious group, he’s beginning by doing his homework.
“I watched some of the movies the other day,” he said. “I hadn’t gotten around to watching all of them, so I’m getting familiar with the story lines.”
“He’s trying to say he wasn’t a Twi-hard before knowing me,” Reed teased.
Included in his prep work will likely be an artist’s screening of “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” which doesn’t hit theaters until November 16. In the meantime, McDonald is working on his album, which he expects to drop early this fall.
Nikki Reed met and married American Idol contestant Paul McDonald within less than a year and couldn’t be happier as a newlywed, but would the 23-year-old recommend tying the knot to any of her fellow Twilight cast mates, like Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart, for example?
“I recommend marriage if you’re going in it for the right reasons,” Nikki explained to OK! while out at the Independent Spirit Award Nominee Lunch on Saturday.
The Thirteen actress knows that she and her now hubby walked down the aisle quickly, but that’s only because Nikki knew Paul was the “one” from the get-go.
“When you meet someone like Paul, you kind of just have to [get married] because you know you want to be with that person forever,” Nikki gushed to OK! at Boa in L.A.
Nikki’s only qualm about advising any of her co-stars to seal the deal comes down to the fact that, “there’s a lot of confusion with young actors and what love actually is, so I would say my advice is probably to wait, but not for me because [Paul’s] the best!”
So how are the happy newlyweds enjoying each other since saying their vows in October 2011?
“It’s good,” Nikki excitedly explained of life with Paul. “It was our first holiday season as a couple!”
Catch the L.A. native alongside Ray Liotta and Forest Whitaker in 2013′s Pawn.