In Ingrid Goes West, which premiered at Sundance last week and sold in the $3 million range to new distributor Neon, Aubrey Plaza’s Ingrid obsessively models herself after Elizabeth Olsen’s Instagram celebrity Taylor Sloane, then moves across the country to befriend her. It’s a hell of a logline, and the movie delivers on its rich potential for discomfort, telling the tale of a woman so immersed in social media that she’s abandoned any concept of herself. While the film avoids taking any sort of moral position on its very contemporary subject matter, walking the tightrope between comedy and thriller, it provides plenty of opportunity for viewers to question their own relationships with social media. Vulture asked Plaza and Olsen their thoughts when we sat down with them in Park City, Utah.
I feel like this is a very generational movie.
Elizabeth Olsen: Yeah, but also there are adults who are connected to this. And when I say adults, I mean, like, grandmas and stuff. I think it’s anyone who participates [in social media]. So many people want to put up videos of their grandchild succeeding at something to just basically brag about their stupid grandchild.
Aubrey Plaza: These grandmas are out of control.
EO: And say, “My kid is better than your kid.” It’s the same kind of comparison thing.
Facebook is the frontier of the grandparents.
AP: I feel like a lot of grandparents are on that one.
EO: But whatever, it’s social media, it’s the same idea.
You don’t want to play a game of What’s Your Favorite Salon with Elizabeth Olsen. “Mark Townsend did my hair for my first high-school dance,” says Olsen of the hairstylist, who works with Rachel McAdams, Dakota Johnson, and all of the Olsen sisters. During her interview for her Allure June 2016 cover story, the actress let us in on the secrets behind her always-perfect hair, her beauty must-haves, and the absolute worst beauty advice she’s ever gotten.
Do you act differently when you’re a brunette? “I felt really exotic when I was brunette—I don’t know why I’m whispering. I got nervous! My humor works better as a brunette. But I wear mainly black, and I don’t want to look depressed.”
Any secret to your color? “Oribe conditioner is the best thing in the world.”
What tricks have you learned on set? “Use green-tea bags steeped in hot water and then soaked in ice on your eyes. I’m lucky—I have good skin. I drink a lot of water, and I use a lot of products.”
Don’t hold out on us. “I’m digging this 111Skin serum. I was in Barneys, and my hands felt really dry so I started pretending I needed a sample. [The salesperson] gave me these packets. Apparently, a plastic surgeon and some space scientists got together to make a really expensive product. I bought two—morally I feel like I shouldn’t buy more. I also love SK-II and Dr. Colbert masks, the ones that make you look like a serial killer. And Kiehl’s. And Kate Somerville. I like Chanel mascara and Dior mascara, and Nars [lip crayons]. The one that I have looks like Spice, that M.A.C. color from the ’90s—it’s amazing. I use Chanel Vitalumieère Aqua when I’m filming. It’s light, and I tend to play characters that shouldn’t look like they’re wearing makeup.”
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.”
Elizabeth is on the cover of the June issue of Elle Canada and i’ve added to the gallery two outtakes and the cover from the issue! Bellow, you also get to read the exclusive interview Elle did with Elizabeth!
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.
When Elizabeth Olsen was 18, she tried to escape from the shadows of her famous older sisters by moving from the family home in LA to study serious theatre at New York University. It didn’t quite work out. The Manhattan media joked about the arrival in town of the “third Olsen twin”. Students in her hall of residence knocked on her door pretending to be lost, and then just stood staring at her. When she auditioned, producers said they didn’t want her because they assumed she’d be “too upbeat”.
The Olsen family, however, is famously determined.
Sunday Times Style is out on stands now. Buy your copy to read the full interview!
Playing Audrey Williams in the upcoming Hank Williams‘ biopic, I Saw the Light, proved challenging for Elizabeth Olsen. The actress admits that it was tough to know how to best portray the complexity of the country icon’s first wife, to whom he was married for seven years.
“I didn’t know much about Hank and Audrey. I knew who Hank Williams was, [but] I didn’t know who Audrey was until I read the script,” Olsen tells The Boot. “So before doing any research, you just see the relationship on the page, which was a woman who, on the surface, it seems like she’s difficult. She’s demanding, and she has an ego, and it blows up his ego, and she’s stubborn and manipulative.”
However, it only took one read through the script, written by director Marc Abraham, to convince Olsen to take on the role. And when she signed on, Olsen explains, her goal became to “defend” Audrey Williams.
“I read it and felt really sorry for her, and I felt like she had a very difficult situation …,” Olsen says. “Even though there aren’t certain things that I agree with that she fought for, that she fought about, I at least tried to find out why, or what that motivation is.
“I think if you can see two sides of the equation, it makes for a much more interesting dynamic between relationships, or in a film or in drama,” Olsen continues. “I just tried to defend her as much as possible so people could care for her, because in history, people kind of give her a hard time.”
If you’re anything like us, it still, to this day, takes you a few moments, every time, to connect that Elizabeth Olsen is the sister of world’s most famous twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. They exist in quite different pop-cultural spheres, as Mary-Kate and Ashley have been fixtures since they were toddlers (first as child actors, now as fashion empresses), while Elizabeth “hit the scene,” as it were, only a few years ago, and in quite different fashion, becoming something of an indie darling after her debut in Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Mary-Kate and Ashley—save for a cigarette-bowl-strewn wedding here and there—stay pretty much out of the public eye these days, and the two turned down roles in Fuller House, the forthcoming Netflix reboot of Full House, as grown-up Michelle Tanner. It is hard to imagine either Olsen twin getting back in the patterned overalls for the new go-round (Mary-Kate, to Ashley, on the phone: “So [18-second pause] that Full House reboot [low guttural moan] [fit of giggles] [high-pitched wail] . . . anyway, can I borrow your black cloak?”), so it’s not all that surprising that they decided not to return.
Their decision initially led the remaining cast, we have now learned, to get inventive. John Stamos (a.k.a. Uncle Jesse) revealed on Andy Cohen’s Sirius show Monday that there was an actual attempt made to see if . . . Elizabeth might be interested in taking on the role. “I don’t think this has been talked about,” he said. “I didn’t do it, I think Jeff Franklin did. I said, ‘Call the sister [Elizabeth Olsen]. Ask her’ . . . We talked to her agent and her agent was like, ‘Come on, she’s not going to do that,’ but we did call her agent.” We like to think Elizabeth texted Mary-Kate and Ashley immediately afterward, and one twin wrote back, “Who is Michelle Tanner?,” and the other sent a string of nonsensical animal emojis.
Elizabeth Olsen loves her witchy woman.
The actress also enjoys other roles as well, such as playing Audrey Williams in the upcoming Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light in November, but spell-weaving telekinetic Wanda Maximoff is a favorite for Olsen. She stars as the Scarlet Witch inAvengers: Age of Ultron (now out on Blu-ray/DVD) — where the character was introduced with her brother Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) — and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (in theaters May 6), and probably will be in pretty much every big Marvel Studios movie after that. (She’ll be needed when cosmic villain Thanos comes to town in Infinity War.)
“It’s so crazy and mindblowing being part of something that has that wide audience internationally,” says Olsen, a part of the new Avengers team in Civil War along with Falcon (Anthony Mackie), the enigmatic Vision (Paul Bettany) and of course Captain America (Chris Evans).
“I am loving every time I get to go back to playing Scarlet Witch, and it is really nice to have the balance of doing something character driven and dramatic” like I Saw the Light, the actress adds. “It’s very technical, these Marvel movies.”
Olsen talks with USA TODAY about a couple big Age of Ultron moments (spoilers ahead!), what’s happening in Civil War and what kind of character she doesn’t want to play in a Star Wars movie.
Like her fellow Avengers Black Widow and Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch didn’t get a solo movie to set her up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, she and her brother Quicksilver were among the many characters introduced earlier this year inAvengers: Age of Ultron. While her brother didn’t survive the events of Ultron’s evil scheme, Scarlet Witch, a.k.a. Wanda Maximoff, has a bright future ahead of her in the MCU. However, there aren’t any official plans to give Scarlet Witch a solo adventure, and actress Elizabeth Olsen seems to be fine with that.
This past weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival, Olsen was asked byBusiness Insider whether she’d ever want to lead a standalone Scarlet Witch film. The actress stated that while she loves the character, she doesn’t know if Scarlet Witch needs to go off on her own. Olsen said,
“I’m not sure, honestly. I love my character, I just don’t know how that would fit in the whole Marvel universe or if it would even be necessary.”
Let’s put one of her concerns to rest: if Marvel wanted to find a way to fit a Scarlet Witch adventure into their film slate, they would do it. The studio has already plotted out their films to 2019 (and those are only the ones they’ve announced to the public), but there’s no reason they couldn’t give her a film during Phase Four. With abilities like telekinesis and hypnosis, she’s already one of the most powerful people in the MCU, – at least on Earth. A solo film might also be a chance for her relationship withThe Vision to be explored, having married him previously in the comics. At the very least, a Scarlet Witch movie would give Marvel a chance to highlight another woman in the MCU on the big screen outside of an ensemble. Currently the only female-led solo movie they have on the docket is Captain Marvel in late 2018.
Sometimes, when you meet someone for the first time, there’s a spark. That’s what happened toTom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, at least.
The rumored couple star in the upcoming “I Saw the Light,” a biopic about the rise of country singer Hank Williams, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival this week. They’ve been linked throughout the summer, but Olsen told MTV News that the two had instant chemistry when they met on an audition four years ago.
“Tom and I have been wanting to work with each other for a while,” she said. “We’ve known each other for about four years, and we met doing a chemistry read for an audition and we were like, ’oh my God, this would be so much fun if we worked with each other.’”
“I Saw the Light” happened to be the first film that was right for the duo to share the screen. Olsen opened up about what a chemistry read entails, and why hers and Tom’s was so great.