We sit down with the actress and executive producer to talk about the meaning of true strength and knowing when it’s time to slow down.
COVETEUR – The two times we met Elizabeth Olsen couldn’t be more different. The first, we were dancing all night long and hiking all day in the middle of Utah’s Canyon Point for our mutual friend Andi Potamkin’s wedding at Amangiri. It was one for the books. This time, we swapped the champagne for sparkling water on a packed press day during the pinnacle of TIFF and nestled into a booth to talk about Olsen’s elegant performance (and her debut as executive producer) in Facebook Watch’s episodic series Sorry for Your Loss. Olsen plays Leigh, a bereaved widow struggling to navigate her new life—a role that has her gracefully vacillating between debilitating mourning and comfort in memories (as shown in flashbacks), and the challenges within the banality of everyday life between. The realistic portrayal of grief depicted in Sorry for Your Loss, Olsen tells us, made her re-examine the meaning of true strength (hint: it’s not the antiquated belief that hiding emotion during a time of mourning is a strength). We chatted about what it took to prep for a complex role, her new venture into producing, and played a quick-fire round of Qs.
How did you get involved with this project?
“I had read the script three years ago. I had just gone through, not a death, but a loss and a life adjustment, so I related to my character [and the feeling of] being completely confused about how to move forward. We haven’t really told an authentic story about grief and the everyday—how it’s not something that you go through the stages and get out on the other side. It’s a continual adjustment to your life, and you can’t do anything but move forward.
“I always think about how we all have a backpack of shit that we carry with us from all the trauma that we’ve experienced (or all the loss we’ve had or the pains we’ve gone through) that are unique to each individual person. We walk through life with this weight on our back, but we walk through it anyway; you’re fine, and that’s just you. And then you add an extra loss, or something new, an adjustment, and it becomes a huge new weight—you never lose the weight, it never goes away, you just adjust how you walk through life and move forward. [Sorry for Your Loss] is not fancy and it’s not dramatic, but what I love about the show is that it gets cozy in the mundane and the monotony of that experience, how long it takes, and how it never goes away. You continue to have relationships with this person [you lost].”
Did you find it challenging capturing the complexities of grief?
Continue reading “Press/Gallery: Elizabeth Olsen On Exploring Grief In “Sorry For Your Loss””