May 12, 2016
We’re at the worst table in Brooklyn—or at least, the worst table at a small Moroccan restaurant in Williamsburg. A few feet over and we’d be in the kitchen. We’re breaking the ice by debating whether scotch has to actually come from Scotland. And if my dinner date notices our proximity to the fluorescent lighting of the prep stations (or if she cares), she’s not letting on. It’s my first indication that Elizabeth Olsen is chill—or to use one of her favorite words, fucking chill. (More on that in a minute.)
Olsen isn’t exactly new to fame. The 27-year-old has starred in big-budget productions, like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Godzilla. And now she’s reprising her Avengers role as the mind- reading superhero Scarlet Witch in Captain America: Civil War. But for the moment, Olsen has managed to hold on to an impressive amount of privacy and relative anonymity.
When you think of Elizabeth Olsen, you think…she’s got the best loose waves in Hollywood? She was awesome in Martha Marcy May Marlene? She’s the Olsen who’s not a twin? Don’t worry, she’s hardly offended. “You know you’re going to be compared [with them] for the rest of your life,” she says. “You grow up and get over it, and you love your family regardless.”
Perhaps as a counterweight to all the blockbusters, this spring Olsen also starred in I Saw the Light, a smaller film in which she plays the wife of country-music star Hank Williams (“It’s a fucked-up story—she had a really shitty, difficult experience with her husband,” says Olsen).
On a balmy Thursday night, either our fellow restaurantgoers are playing it supercool or Olsen has successfully shrugged off her celebrity for the evening. Sure, her siblings may be famous (OK, really famous) and rich (a few more reallys), but Olsen is not to the manner born. She swears frequently and casually, like the world’s cutest sailor, lip-synchs to Blues Traveler in the car, fiddles with the sleeves of her sweater (a gray scoop neck from The Row), and piles her hair on top of her head “like a fucking shih tzu.” And while our waitress regards Olsen with more interest than she does me, I can’t tell if she’s registering her as a Hollywood player or just as a really pretty woman.