The actress talks about juggling “Sorry For Your Loss” with the Marvel juggernaut, while dreaming up her next great adventures.
NY Times – One weekend about four years ago, Elizabeth Olsen found herself in the enviable position of having a pile of scripts to read. Just barely into her career — not counting childhood cameos alongside her older sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley — she’d already raked in indie accolades for “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and ascended into the Marvel universe as Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch.
But something about Kit Steinkellner’s pilot for “Sorry for Your Loss,” and the role of Leigh Shaw, a young widow mourning the death of her husband, who either fell off a cliff or jumped, captivated her.
“I was doing a bunch of stuff that felt outside of myself, and I really wanted to be a part of something that’s a little bit more close to home,” Olsen said. Better yet, it came with an offer to be an executive producer.
“Sorry for Your Loss” quickly evolved into a critical darling, with James Poniewozik of The New York Times calling it a “quiet gem.” Season 2, now on Facebook Watch, picks up six months after the death of her husband (Mamoudou Athie, still present in flashbacks) as Leigh moves forward with baby steps: getting his comic book published posthumously, skipping grief group to have sex with her Postmates delivery guy. Then there’s the disconcerting fact that her husband’s brother (Jovan Adepo) has fallen in love with her.
Perhaps because of her paparazzi-hounded siblings, celebrity has never been a pursuit for Olsen, 30, who muses about the children she hopes to have with her fiancé, Robbie Arnett of the band Milo Greene.
“I never wanted to have a certain amount of power in the industry,” she said. “I really do love my job, and I’m happy doing just that and the charity I do, and being as private as possible.”
These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Grief isn’t something most of us long to confront. So why can’t we turn away from Leigh and her story?
I think going through grief, whether it’s losing a parent or a spouse or a best friend, is a really isolating experience. And I feel like we try and be as authentic to the truth as possible. We also try to handle mental illness and addiction the same way. For a show like ours to hopefully make people not feel alone and to feel seen, that’s a special experience. And the thing that’s been interesting with Facebook is that there’s a built-in community for people, if they want it.
Is there any particular experience you find yourself drawing on to tap into her grief?