From Peeing on a Marvel Set to ‘That Glove With Gems’: How Kathryn Hahn and Elizabeth Olsen Bonded on ‘WandaVision’
Entering the world of Marvel can be a daunting task even for the most experienced of actors — unless, of course, you have Elizabeth Olsen in a dirty Prius leading you every step of the way.
While introducing Olsen as an honoree at Variety‘s Power of Women in event in Los Angeles, presented by Lifetime, on Wednesday night, “WandaVision” co-star Kathryn Hahn shared how meaningful (and comical) Olsen’s guidance has been to her.
Elizabeth Olsen is one of creative leaders honored for Variety’s 2022 Power of Women presented by Lifetime. To read about her work with the Rape Foundation and Stuart House, click here.
When audiences last saw Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Disney’s May box office juggernaut “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” it certainly looked like Olsen’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was over. Definitively, actually: An entire castle collapsed on Wanda, a building brought down by her own powerful magic after she sacrificed herself to destroy the Darkhold — the evil book that had corrupted her, turning her into a nearly unbeatable villain for most of the movie.
For Olsen, 33, who burst into the movie world with 2011’s Sundance Film Festival sensation “Martha Marcy May Marlene” — and saw her profile skyrocket as Wanda (aka the Scarlet Witch) in six Marvel movies, starting with a mid-credits cameo in 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and later the hit 2021 Disney+ TV series “WandaVision” — the character’s heel-turn into darkness took some adjustment. “Well, this is quite a leap from the woman that I’ve been playing!” she remembers thinking after learning she was to go malevolent in the Sam Raimi-directed sequel to “Doctor Strange.”
But she got into it. “At least in my experience, it’s been hard as a woman to express rage,” Olsen says. “It’s one of the most amazing feelings, because it’s so specific: You can know exactly why you’re angry.”
Over a long lunch on an unbearably hot September day near her home in Los Angeles, Olsen — who radiates tranquility — doesn’t disclose what makes her feel rage. “Oh, those are fun secrets to keep,” she says with a smile. “But I do have rage. I feel like the moment you, as an actor, reveal things about yourself that are kind of your ‘fuel,’ for lack of a better word, then your fuel’s exposed and it means less.”
In her years in the MCU, Olsen’s Wanda has lost her parents, her brother, her husband and her two sons, all of whom exist somewhere in the multiverse. She’s got a lot to be angry about. According to Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, Olsen’s skills are why Wanda’s arc has been so complex. “We only even would have dared attempt something like ‘WandaVision,’” Feige says, “because Lizzie is such an outstanding actor.”
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Authenticity, the unpretentious (even if conscious) ability to present an unvarnished image and likeness of oneself to the world, is one of the most appealing qualities of social media.
Especially for celebrities whose command over their public image has been greatly usurped by tabloid journalism and incessant paparazzi, social media may present an advantageous opportunity to win back a sense of ownership over their narratives while also expressing their individual truths. At the same time, however, these public displays of a more candid nature can become a perfect means of commodification, their naturalism a salable asset in a market that favours honest interactions.
Elizabeth Olsen, speaking over Zoom from Los Angeles, confirms that her short stint on Instagram was, by most measures, a business endeavour. “I’m not going to be coy about it: you try social media as an actor because there’s a financial gain—that’s why we are on these platforms,” she admits with tongue firmly planted in cheek. “I don’t feel comfortable selling things but thought I might as well give it a go. It didn’t make me feel great, even if it was something I believed in. I don’t think of myself as a salesperson or a personality, so it didn’t really suit me.” Where most Hollywood celebrities are steadfast in crafting an identity that juggles candor and commerce for the world to witness, it is refreshing to see an individual with such well-established cultural cachet recognize that this balancing act is more tedious than edifying.
Talented, powerful and one of the most relevant actresses of the moment, Elizabeth Olsen is our cover star for May 2022.
Elizabeth Olsen has conquered us not only because of her multifaceted acting career, where she has given us incredible characters like The Scarlet Witch, but also because of her love of altruism, the planet and her great personality that has led her to steal the hearts of everyone; Therefore, this month we talk exclusively with her about her personal life, her dreams, her new projects and her best fashion and beauty tips.
This month we decided to recognize the Hollywood actress with two covers . The first reflects her personal essence, her love and her daily efforts for the planet and the second highlights her public face, the movie star and the importance of women on the screen.
Do you have a dream that you would like to fulfill in the future?
Yes I have a lot. I would love to manifest multiple paths in my life in the future. I don’t think that my life is necessarily to be an actress, there are many things that I would like to explore and I have a long list. To simplify the answer, I dream of having children. That has always been a dream that I have had and it is something that I hope to be able to do.
Can you tell us a little more about your experience with Latitud Project?
It is an amazing project. Some Canadian women who I think went to Mexico with their mothers every summer, ventured to Nicaragua. They started their foundation Latitude Project. In recent years, having a presence in the country has been more difficult, not only because of the COVID pandemic, but also because of the political situation in Nicaragua. Basically they find communities with a lot of need and work with them, ask them about what they need. Be it drinking water, solar energy… and they do a project a year with these communities. They build it with them. I went to bring more awareness to Latitud, but usually they only work with the community and the people there so they can have more autonomy over what they build together. It’s always amazing. I have been with them a few times. Every time, on every project, you meet some very beautiful people and it’s truly amazing how few dollars it takes to change an entire community. It was an amazing experience and I hope to be able to return soon.
Do you have any other plans to practice altruism in the future?
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EMPIRE: As a Master Of The Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is all about bending (or even breaking) the rules of time and space. And if you’re looking forward to the new issue of Empire – delving deep into long-awaited sequel Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness with tons of new interviews and brand new exclusive images – you might wish you could whip up a gold, sparkly portal to your local newsagents one day into the future to get your hands on a copy.
Sadly, unless you’ve studied at Kamar-Taj that won’t be an option. Here’s the next best thing – a sneak peek at this month’s mag, not only cracking open the multiple realities of Multiverse Of Madness, but also marking 400 issues of Empire.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness
Alternate universes. Variants galore. Cosmic chaos. Doctor Strange is about to get trippier than ever with a reality-shattering romp through the Multiverse. Empire speaks to stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, and Rachel McAdams, plus legendary director Sam Raimi, producer Richie Palmer, and Marvel boss Kevin Feige, break down the MCU’s mind-bending next adventure.