[x008] Photoshoots > Studio Shoots > 2014 > Flaunt
April 14, 2014
Recently, everyoneâ€™s been congratulating Elizabeth Olsen. So when I think to do the same, standing in my house with a phone to my ear, waiting for Olsen to pick up the other end somewhere in the Aosta Valley in Northwestern Italy, I wonder which of her recent accomplishments Iâ€™m speaking to. This is when I get nervous.
After training at Tisch and starring in Sean Durkinâ€™s cigarette burn of a debut Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), Olsen has emerged from the silken cocoon of a famously show-busy family, neatly engineering a lo-fi, roots-up career.
But Olsen looks to be leaving obscurity behind. Thereâ€™s The Avengers: Age of Ultron slated for release in 2015, and Gareth Edwardsâ€™ madly anticipated reimagining of the once-tainted Godzilla franchise out this spring. (Reasons for Congratulation #1, #2, and possibly #3.) Both pictures have in common large, well-established ensemble casts (including a double pairing with Aaron Taylor-Johnson), but consist of entirely divergent personalities: Cranston/Watanabe/Binoche on the one hand, and Downey Jr. and co. on the other.
As the phone rings, warbling and distant, I imagine Olsen lounging on a tufted settee in some historic Baronial hotel, panoramic Mont Blanc in the distant dark. I wonder whether or not sheâ€™s become eager to leave behind her indie roots and embrace the multimillion-dollar Hollywood machine, though that strikes me as unlikely. She answers and the first thing I do is excuse myself, blathering while I clumsily hot-potato my phone, making sure the damn thing is, indeed, recording.
April 9, 2014
Elizabeth Olsen didn’t set out to become an indie darling. “I didn’t really have another optionâ€”those were the jobs I was getting,” she says. Good thing for her, because the 25-year-old, so mesmerizing in 2011′s Martha Marcy May Marlene, has earned the kind of critical praise that actors dream of. “I feel very lucky that the reviewers have been on my side, even when it comes to a project that isn’t so great,” Olsen says. “I was seizing every opportunity. I’m not embarrassed by my work in them or anythingâ€”it’s all learning.”
Subsequently, she’s landed two huge commercial movies, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which she’s filming now, and Godzilla, opposite critics’ pets Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, and Sally Hawkins, opening May 16. “The cool thing is the studio pieces I have been lucky to become a part of are ensemble pieces, so it’s not like I have this Hunger Games on my back. It’s not going to skyrocket one person; it’s a team thing.”
At Broome Street General Store in Silver Lake, near where the actress is crashing with her fiancĂ©, model/actor Boyd Holbrook, Olsen goes unrecognized. With her long, wavy blonde hair spilling out of a watchman’s cap, holey J Brand jeans, and oversize Theyskens sweater, Olsen (Lizzie to her friends) could be any other hipster at the tiny outdoor coffee shop. And she prefers it that way: “I definitely know what kind of lifestyle I want to have. Some people recognize you for your work, not for being pictured going to clubs. So, I try and keep that kind of profile that people know you from your work and that’s it. There are some jobs that I’ve said no to, because I know what kind of attention they will bring. I choose not to have that specific kind of attention.”
Though her sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, named one of their fashion lines Elizabeth and James (which happens to be the given name of their brother), she insists she’s not their muse: “God, no. I just try and see what they do and copy them like the rest of the world does.” So that Olsen nameâ€”boon or burden? “Everyone has their hurdle to get over, and if mine is that I have to [prove] I’ve earned my jobs, I’m OK with that,” she says. “I’m in it for a ride, and I’m in it for the long run.” We’re happily going along for the ride.
[x007] Movies > 2015: The Avengers: Age Of Ultron > Behind the Scenes > March 27
[x030] Movies > 2015: The Avengers: Age Of Ultron > Behind the Scenes > March 25