‘WandaVision’: MCU Powerhouse Elizabeth Olsen Once “Felt Very Stupid” for Wanting to Act
Olsen also discusses making the shift from independent films to giant franchises like ‘Godzilla’ and the MCU.
As much as I enjoy discussing current success on Collider Ladies Night – especially when its standout new series like WandaVision – I find that one of the most exciting components of the conversation is the part that focuses on someone’s experience breaking into the industry and the earliest stages of honing their craft, because every path is different. We’ve done dozens of episodes of Ladies Night at this point, highlighting a whole bunch of unique experiences that hopefully all add up to convey that you can achieve your dream in a way that’s true to you. And it turns out, I’ve got another prime example of that right here with Elizabeth Olsen‘s episode of the show.
At the start of our conversation, Olsen admitted that at the beginning, she was apprehensive about committing to pursue a career in acting:
“When I reached junior high I felt very stupid for wanting to be an actor because I was a good student and I grew up in LA and I felt like it was lame to have that want because I felt like people moved to LA and everyone wanted to be an actor, and I just didn’t like that idea. And you’re in junior high and you’re trying to figure your sh*t out [laughs], and how to be an individual. And then it wasn’t until a high school production that I did and having my high school acting teacher. We studied Stanislavski and Russian theater and The Actors Studio and that whole academic way of theater just allowed me to feel it was an OK passion, it was an important thing, especially when you study Russian Studies. The theater was very, very important to Russian history, and so making the decision to go to college for an acting conservatory was really the commitment moment.”
Soon after graduating, Olsen scored her breakout role in Martha Marcy May Marlene. While one might be quick to assume it was smooth sailing for Olsen from here, it did take some time for her to figure out how to build the filmography she wanted:
“The film was a success, but I really didn’t know how to make decisions on what to do next because I was just so excited to be working because I was just out of school. To me, I just was happy anytime anyone wanted me to do something so I just said yes to things that I feel like I would have been a bit pickier if I had some more experience as a professional before Martha.”
While it might have taken some time for Olsen to find that confidence and understanding in that decision making process, she most certainly did and has loads of impressive credits to show for it. Here’s what she said when asked when goals for her career started to come into focus:
“It was kind of recently. I lost out on a couple opportunities that I really wanted to be a part of because of my time commitment to different Avenger projects and that broke my heart and I really felt clear on what I wanted to do, but the timing didn’t work out with these two great projects that I really loved and thought, ‘You know, maybe if I was in them the wouldn’t have been as good.’ [Laughs] You just don’t know, and so you kind of allow that to be how it was meant to be. I feel like when I had this pause where I was kind of just searching and taking time off and trying to figure our what made sense, I think it was Wind River that came up and then that took a long time to get going, because it was Chris Pine before [Jeremy] Renner… so that took a bit of time. And then I did Ingrid Goes West that summer and I felt like, ‘Oh, this feels right. This feels good. This feels like the work that I want to be doing.’ And then WandaVision because this thing that happened to me, but became one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had in a long time of exploration from a work standpoint.”
This is only a small part of Olsen’s journey right here so be sure to check out our full conversation in the video at the top of this article. Olsen also discussed making the decision to go after roles in blockbusters, first getting involved in the MCU, what it’s been like exploring the character of Wanda Maximoff through such a unique show like WandaVision, and so much more!
- 00:58 – When Olsen decided that she had to become an actor; why she once “felt very stupid” for wanting to be an actor and what changed that.
- 03:58 – On making the choice to study acting in college.
- 05:30 – Did Martha Marcy May Marlene feel like a huge game changer to Olsen; not knowing how to make decision on what to do next after the film’s success.
- 08:18 – When did Olsen first feel her career goals come into focus?
- 10:03 – How Olsen made the transition from independent films to giant blockbusters like Godzilla and the MCU; the value of going on “generals.”
- 14:32 – Olsen explains what it means to be a supporting player in the MCU; does she have a clear sense of what she’ll be needed for and when? Does she get full scrips?
- 17:30 – Olsen discusses what the process has been like on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness; will we see Sam Raimi’s signature visual style in the film?
- 19:26 – Olsen discusses how the Sokovia accent was created; Wanda’s accent isn’t gone.
- 21:00 – When did Olsen first hear about the possibility of an MCU series featuring Wanda?
- 23:30 – What is it about Jac Schaeffer that made her the idea showrunner for WandaVision?
- 25:05 – How Bethany surprised Olsen making WandaVision, even after working together for years.
- 26:22 – Did WandaVision give Olsen the itch to do more comedy; why the show was one of the hardest things she’s ever done.
- 27:54 – Is there ant element of Wanda that Olsen might not have been able to access if it hadn’t been for the unique style and format of WandaVision; playing with moments of tension on the show.
- 29:25 – What is Wanda’s headspace at the very beginning of the show? Is she just a blank slate?
- 30:30 – Olsen on what she appreciated about Teyonah Parris as a scene partner.
- 31:34 – What it is really like for Olsen doing press for top secret projects? Has she picked up any tips or tricks over the years?
- 32:33 – Random questions begin! Find out what show Olsen is currently binge watching, the meal she’d choose to eat over and over again, the gift she received from Sean Durkin that she takes with her from home to home, the one thing she collects, if she’d rather have to fake sneeze or fake vomit in a scene and her biggest fear overcome.
Original article at Collider.
This article has been reproduced for archive purposes.