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December 20, 2013
Speaking to Elizabeth Olsen this time of year traditionally means youâ€™re previewing Sundance. In recent years, beginning with Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011, sheâ€™s been one of the indie festivalâ€™s biggest darlings. This year, unfortunately, she doesnâ€™t have a film in the Sundance lineup â€” but on Feb. 21, she stars in In Secret, a period romantic thriller based on Ã‰mile Zolaâ€™s novel, ThÃ©rese Raquin. Olsen plays an unhappy wife trapped in a passionless marriage to her cousin (Tom Felton, in full-on creepy Alan Cumming mode). When sparks instead fly with her husbandâ€™s dashing artist friend (Oscar Isaac), theyâ€™re tempted to knock off the man keeping them apart, never mind the withering glares of her mother-in-law (Jessica Lange).
In Secret looks promising, but Olsen is also poised to go from the art-house to the multiplex in a huge way. The 25-year-old was an essential part of Spike Leeâ€™s Oldboy remake earlier this fall, and next year, she stars in the wait-this-trailer-almost-looks-promising Godzilla. And while that monster movie opens in May, sheâ€™ll likely be rubbing elbows with Marvel superheroes like Iron Man and Captain America as the character Scarlet Witch, one of the two new members of Joss Whedonâ€™s Avengers.
Rest assured, Olsen isnâ€™t turning her back on the indie world. In fact, sheâ€™ll be at Sundance in January to support her boyfriend, Boyd Holbrook, who has two promising movies screening.
In addition to the exclusive new poster for In Secret, Olsen checked in with EW to discuss the movie and what promises to be a most exciting 2014.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In Secret is based on a play that was based on the Ã‰mile Zola novel, ThÃ©rese Raquin. How were you introduced to it?
ELIZABETH OLSEN: It was actually odd: Mickey Liddell, whoâ€™s the producer, sent me the script when I was in school and I was taking a class called Realism and Naturalism in Theater. I read the script, took the class, and our first assignment is to read the book and the play and talk about the differences between the two, and how it began this movement in theater. Which is kind of crazy, because it kind of felt like all the stars were aligned. And then I kind of really loved it from an academic point of view. The teacher would describe it as an inherently flawed story because of how quickly it moves. But I donâ€™t know. It takes you through such a fast journey and the characters are flawed themselves, which sometimes makes people not willing to respond. It was a fun challenge.
From an acting point of view, ThÃ©rese is a pretty great character. Sheâ€™s woman of a certain time, but sheâ€™s also still relateable today.
Sheâ€™s pretty repressed and sheâ€™s not really given an opportunity to make any decisions for herself. The moment she see an opportunity to listen to her own desires and wants and needs, she takes it, and just one thing leads to another. It was really interesting, trying to figure out a balance of how secretive she is and how wild she is by keeping a lid on it. Itâ€™s an interesting character to try and navigate in that way.