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How Elizabeth Olsen is Making a Name For Herself

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.

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May 15th, 2016

Elizabeth Olsen on how playing it safe is the secret to her success

Elle Canada
Apr 26, 2016

Elizabeth Olsen doesn’t like speed. Likewise “adrenalin or kicks.” In fact, she’s a self-described “very safe person” whose definition of dangerous driving involves lip-synching to Pretenders songs in the car and filming it on her iPhone for her friends.

Which is why she is more surprised than anyone by how much she loved learning how to snowmobile for her new film, Wind River. “Going 60 miles an hour sliding on ice isn’t my idea of fun,” says Olsen over the phone from Park City, Utah, where production on the indie thriller is set to begin in a few days. “But I got used to it and loved it. It’s absolutely breathtaking 10,000 feet up here in the mountains.” Olsen—just back from a three-hour excursion with her co-star Jeremy Renner and the film’s stunt coordinator—says that it was one of those days that remind her why she does what she does: “It’s pretty fucking awesome.”

That’s another thing: Olsen peppers her conversation liberally with the f-bomb, but she does it in such a matter-of-fact, low-key way that you stop noticing it until you, say, transcribe a conversation and see how often it comes up.

“Low-key” also describes ELLE Canada’s day shooting the actress in New York: In fact, one staffer, on her way into the studio, passed a young woman in a trench coat waiting in the lobby and it only hit her about five minutes later that that was our cover star. And that may be exactly how Olsen wanted it.

“A lot of the time in my life, I try not to take up space—I just want to disappear into a wall,” says the 27-year-old. “And then eventually, when I’m around people I feel confident with, I’ll take up more space.”

As the younger sister of a certain Mary-Kate and Ashley, the world’s most famous twins, Elizabeth Olsen didn’t quite grow up in the spotlight, but she certainly felt its glare. (Although she’ll be the first to tell you she had a “beautiful” childhood in Los Angeles filled with happy times playing outdoors, baking cookies and taking full advantage of being the youngest of four.)

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April 29th, 2016

Elizabeth Olsen Honored at Deauville Film Festival

The Hollywood Reporter
September 9, 2015

With a list of credits three times as long as her short career, it’s easy to forget that Elizabeth Olsen made her acting debut just four years ago. She was honored for her body of work with the Hollywood Rising Star Award at the Deauville Film Festival on Wednesday night.

This year’s Cannes best actor winner Vincent Lindon was on hand to present her with the award.

After a long descent down the auditorium stairs to the stage, a nervous Olsen told the audience she is not very good at walking in heels and terrified of speaking in public, and read off written remarks. Olsen cited Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall as an inspiration to an aspiring 15-year old, and now that she has been successful she hopes to continue in her footsteps.

“[Keaton could] be so honest that humor and fear joy and vulnerability and intelligence and naïveté could coexist. Today my goal is to play and create those kinds of women, women that actresses like Diane Keaton have inspired me to play. Women that do not conform to a type or a box, complex women,” she said. “I really love my job a lot and I can only hope I get to continue to be a part of this world for many many more years.”

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September 10th, 2015

What Elizabeth Won’t Talk About With Her Sisters

Refinery 29
April 29, 2015

It’s not easy to command moviegoers’ attention when you’re sharing the screen with the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr. — especially when you’re the new kid on the block. But, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, that’s exactly what Elizabeth Olsen does (and then some).

You probably know Olsen from Martha Marcy May Marlene or Godzilla (and, of course, from her famous sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley), but this role is taking her career to the next level. She plays Scarlet Witch, one of the newly-introduced characters in the franchise’s sequel, and a twin to Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver. But, this duo isn’t just any old addition to the Marvel Universe. (Trust us; we got a sneak peek at the film!)

“Aaron and I were completely integral to the plot,” Olsen told us at a recent junket. “A lot of times, they introduce characters and they’re just kind of sidekicks, but we actually make certain moments of the film happen…it was really nice.” To learn more, we sat down with Olsen to get all the details on her new role, from the scoop on what it was like working with Joss Whedon to the surprising way her sisters inspired her character.

You’re on a very demanding press tour right now; how do you work with your beauty and styling team to be ready for so many red carpet events?
“I go through the last two to three seasons of fashion shows of designers I’ve worn before and liked, or designers I want to wear. I pull [style] numbers and send them to a stylist, and they get a better understanding of what kind of vibe I want. And, we have hours and hours and hours of fittings. With hair and makeup, I just tell them to do something that they want to do, because I don’t have a clue!”

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May 3rd, 2015

Scarlett Johansson and Elizabeth discuss ‘Avengers’ heroines’ move to front lines

Los Angeles Times
April 30, 2015

Elizabeth Olsen is doing more than bringing the Marvel Comics character Scarlet Witch to the big screen in Friday’s tentpole film “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” She’s also doubling the number of women on the Avengers roster.

“It’s really cool, and I don’t take it for granted,” said Olsen, 26, a self-professed fan of the comic book film franchise.

Previously, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, was the sole female member of the muscle-bound team of super-studs, comprising Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye. With four Marvel movies under her utility belt and a fifth (“Captain America: Civil War”) slated to begin filming next week, Johansson, 30, is a veteran of the flourishing Marvel Cinematic Universe. And she’s eager to welcome more women to the franchise.

“For so long, female superheroes have been mistreated, and I think women’s roles in general are often oversimplified and generic and saccharine,” said Johansson earlier this month at the Walt Disney Studio lot in Burbank.

Her Black Widow stands apart as a highly skilled assassin with evolving motivations and an understated confidence. Even Widow’s action scenes are nuanced; she uses traditional gender roles to her advantage, unafraid to let a man think he has the upper hand, though the audience always knows better.

“I’ve finally been able to be a part of creating this character that is really multifaceted, and it’s fallen into what is generally a kind of male-dominated genre,” Johansson said. “To finally be sharing that with somebody else, and certainly with Lizzie, is a wonderful thing and a step in the right direction.”

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May 3rd, 2015

Elizabeth Olsen: on the new Avengers film and her famous sisters

The Telegraph
22 April, 2015

If there were any question as to whether the actress Elizabeth Olsen remains in the shadow of her older sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley, her role in the new Avengers film should put paid to that notion once and for all. “To be part of a movie that’s as universal as Avengers is incredible,” she says when we meet at Café Gratitude in West Hollywood, a celebrity-favourite vegan haunt where the walls are decorated with vacuously upbeat LA phrases such as “I adore myself and everyone else” and “I know I am divine”.

Petite and pretty, Olsen is instantly recognisable when she arrives, wearing gym clothes – an exercise top, leggings and black trainers – with her blond hair scraped back into a messy ponytail and a chic bag from The Row, one of her sisters’ fashion labels, over her shoulder.

Down-to-earth and self-deprecating, she is seen as the most “normal” of the Olsen sisters, apparently unscathed by the media circus that has surrounded her family since Mary-Kate and Ashley made their acting debut, aged only nine months, on the American sitcom Full House. “It’s just crazy,” says Olsen, 26, who is three years younger than them. “They’ve never had a year off work their whole lives.”

In recent years the twins have distanced themselves from the film industry, focusing on their work as fashion designers. “They’re amazing, diligent, kind, beautiful, hard-working women who have tons of responsibility and are great at what they do,” Olsen says.

In the meantime Elizabeth – or Lizzie, as she is known – has gently manoeuvred herself into the limelight. In 2011 she caused a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival with her beautifully nuanced performances in two independent films: Silent House, an American remake of a Uruguayan horror film; and the critically acclaimed drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, in which she played a girl who escapes a dangerous cult.

Since then she has delivered equally deft performances in several less memorable movies (Liberal Arts and Red Lights, for example), but she reached a much wider audience with last year’s Godzilla remake, in which she played a young nurse and mother married to a military bomb-disposal expert, the film’s hero, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. She reunites with Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron, this time taking the role of his twin sister, Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, while he plays the superhero Quicksilver, also known as Pietro Maximoff.

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April 23rd, 2015
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