Your fansite dedicated to actress Elizabeth Olsen, known for her roles in Martha Marcy May Marlene, Oldboy, Godzilla, Ingrid Goes West and as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. With upcoming projects including Disney+'s WandaVision, we aim to bring you the latest news & images of Elizabeth and strive to remain 100% gossip-and-paparazzi-free. Make sure to bookmark us, and check back!

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Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective

Award-winning actress Elizabeth Olsen and esteemed musician Robbie Arnett have created a fresh approach to wellness in a new series that shows children ways to manage anxiety. Meet Hattie Harmony, Worry Detective.

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The little sister with big plans

“I feel like I destroy the possibility of me ever playing a sexy high-school girl whenever I open my mouth,” says Elizabeth Olsen, while doing just that.

We are in an antechamber in the fashionably decorated offices of a public relations firm in the West End of London and Olsen, who is 23 but could pass for anything between 16 and 30, is pouring peppermint tea into a mug perched on a vintage leather storage trunk. Her dark brown hair falls in curls around her face, which looks as round and appetising as a wheel of Edam.

Her voice flits between a Valley girl drawl and an urbane Manhattan croak, and every so often she breaks up a long sentence with raised inflections and little pauses? As if she wants to make sure you’re following? Before eventually landing on a full stop.

“I think I speak really oddly?” she asks, or perhaps tells, me. When I saw her in Liberal Arts, a bright, breezy comedy that made waves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is released in the UK next Friday, I assumed this was a voice Olsen had created for her character Zibby, a 19-year-old student at a private Midwestern college who falls for an admissions adviser 16 years her senior. Zibby is mature beyond her years and yet still girlishly eager to please. The voice is a perfect fit for Zibby and also, as it turns out, Olsen herself.

Until recently, Olsen was best known as the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, the twin child stars of a popular, mildly narcotic American sitcom called Full House. During the Nineties she took minor roles in a string of made-for-video films called The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley, in which her siblings, now in their early teens, played two unlikely private investigators. Olsen was bitten by the bug, although she was reluctant to scratch at first.

“I was embarrassed that I even wanted to become an actress because coming from LA, with two older sisters in the business and a mom who had been a ballet dancer, it was such a cliché,” she grimaces, sipping her tea. “Then I thought, ‘Maybe it’s a cliché to want to do movies, so I’ll do theatre’. That’s how I separated it in my head.”

She applied for a drama degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and spent her evenings working as an understudy, writing essays backstage on Broadway while crouched under a spiral staircase.

Meanwhile, her elder sisters had swapped acting for fashion design and had become US gossip magazine mainstays. (Mary-Kate was reportedly engaged in a casual relationship with the actor Heath Ledger in the three months before his death.) Olsen realised she had to establish herself as an actress in her own right, and midway through her degree, she found the film to do it: Martha Marcy May Marlene, a skin-prickling drama about a rural American cult.

“For Martha, my surname was a hindrance,” she admits. “They didn’t want to cast me. They thought the film was above that. I was begging for the job, and it was hard for them to wrap their heads around the fact that I could do it.

“Sean [Durkin, the director] said he never thought twice, but the people who were financing it didn’t like me because they wanted a serious movie, and maybe they thought I’d make it all upbeat.”

If they did, they thought wrong. About as upbeat as a 102-minute Eeyore monologue, Martha Marcy May Marlene had casting directors sitting up and taking note when it premiered at Sundance in 2011. Whoever this girl was, she wasn’t a backup Olsen twin.

Two equally downbeat films followed in quick succession: Silent House, a remake of a Uruguayan horror film, and Red Lights, a rickety paranormal thriller starring Robert De Niro.

“It was a morose year,” she says, with an un-morose chuckle. “I was like, ‘I’m a really positive person. How did this happen?’ And then the script for Liberal Arts came along and the lines were really fun to say.”

That was thanks to Josh Radnor, the film’s writer and director, and also Olsen’s co-star. In a memorable scene, her and Radnor’s characters fall out over a teenage vampire book called Lunar Moon he finds on her desk. When he ribs her over her lowbrow taste, she replies: “You think it’s cool to hate things, but it’s not. It’s boring. Talk about… what you love, and keep quiet about what you don’t,” says Olsen, finishing the line with a smile. “That is such a great line, right? And I agree with that. If you don’t like something, talk about something else that’s great and maybe someone else will discover it and think it’s great too.”

So is there a copy of Twilight on her nightstand – or Fifty Shades of Grey? “Noooo,” she coos, “but I’m obsessed with Fifty Shades of Grey. If I meet someone who’s read it, I’m like, ‘What’s the deal? Tell me what happens!’

“But I have a list of books that I want to read before I die, and whenever I get time to read something that isn’t a script, I’ll read something from that. Howards End is on there. And Thérèse Raquin, which I’ve ended up making a film about anyway.”

Last summer, Olsen received the script for her first costume drama, in which she stars opposite Tom Felton and Jessica Lange. The following semester, the original Émile Zola play and novel turned up on her university reading list.

“I was taking a class called ‘realism and naturalism’ and the first thing on the syllabus was Thérèse Raquin,” she says. “I was like, ‘Is this thing haunting me?’”

It was the perfect opportunity to immerse herself. “Charlie Stratton, the director, knew the play inside out, so I could have a conversation with him about absolutely anything. And I got to go head-to-head with Jessica Lange, who plays my aunt, which was a dream.” Is it as raunchy as the book? Her eyes bulge. “Yes. Yes it is.”

Then there is Old Boy, Spike Lee’s controversial remake of an equally controversial Korean thriller, the rehearsals for which began this week. Olsen plays Marie, a young woman who comes to the aid of Josh Brolin’s average Joe Douchett, who is kidnapped and locked away for 15 years in a kind of privately owned prison without explanation.

The original film, directed by Park Chan-wook, was largely responsible for the mid-2000s surge in interest in Korean cinema, and featured, among a great many notorious scenes, a sequence in which the hero eats a live octopus.

“I can’t tell you if Josh does that,” says Olsen, meaning she can, but won’t. “But there are so many things that made the original iconic that we had to include, or at least address [them].”

As for the value of remaking what was widely regarded as one of the best films of 2003, Olsen is pragmatic. “There’s a huge audience in the States that has no idea what the original film even is,” she says. “You’d be amazed at how many film journalists in New York don’t even know it.”

She has also completed two more films: Kill Your Darlings, a thriller set in the world of beat poetry with Daniel Radcliffe, and Very Good Girls, a love triangle drama with Demi Moore and Dakota Fanning. I ask her if there is a particular British director she would like to work with. It turns out there is.

“Guy Ritchie!” she chirps, eyes wide. “God, I love the Sherlock Holmes films. I would love to be in a third one, if there’s even going to be one. Plus, if I become part of something big, and got international appeal, I might be able to get smaller projects financed too.”

As she says this, she looks into the middle distance, as if she is plotting a line graph in her head. “I just need to figure out how to grow without compromising,” she muses. It is easy to imagine Olsen scribbling formulas in a notebook, where X is popularity and Y is credibility. It is not much harder to imagine her cracking it.