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Elizabeth Olsen on How Nepotism From Mary-Kate and Ashley Affected Acting Career


WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen knows that being the younger sister of Full House and all-around ’90s and ’00s child star icons Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had some impact on her acting career. During an interview with Grazia USA for its digital cover story on her, Elizabeth touched on the way having a family in entertainment inevitably benefitted her, stressing that she did want to earn her own spot in Hollywood, regardless of her sisters’ fame.

Elizabeth studied acting in college, attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. When she started auditioning, she took “special care” to carve out a path far from her sisters’ Full House route, Grazia wrote.

“Nepotism is a thing and I’m very aware of it,” Elizabeth said. “And of course, I’ve always wanted to do it alone.”

ashley, elizabeth and mary kate olsen at the 2016 cfda fashion awards

Ashley, Elizabeth. and Mary-Kate Olsen at the 2016 CFDA Fashion Awards

Jamie McCarthyGetty Images

Elizabeth also candidly discussed her decision not to have social media after experimenting with Instagram.

“It has to be a personal decision, right?” she started. “So, my opinion has nothing to do with what anyone else does or doesn’t do with it.” Elizabeth tried out Instagram when she was filming 2017’s Ingrid Goes West, where Elizabeth played a social media influencer. Before then, “I had never touched it before. I thought, ‘This is an interesting social experiment for myself, to see if it is a good source to talk about charities or a good source to talk about small projects, or to share something goofier about myself.’ But I think at the end of the day, what I discovered was one, I’m really bad at creating a perceived identity!”

“I didn’t find it very organic to who I am as a person,” she continued. “I found some joy in putting up silly videos, but I think the main reason I stopped—not I think, I know the main reason why I stopped—was because of the organization in my brain.”

elizabeth olsen on grazia usa's digital cover

Courtesy of Grazia USA

“Lots of horrible things happen all the time,” she said. “Or, lots of great things happen all the time. Whether it’s something terrifying, like a natural disaster or a school shooting or a death, there are so many things that happen, and I love processing information. I love reading articles. I love listening to podcasts. I love communicating about things that are happening in the world to people around me. And what I don’t love is that my brain organization was saying, ‘Should I post about this?’ That seemed very unhealthy ….”

“And to then contribute to these platitudes that I don’t really love, you have to subscribe to two different ways of thinking. So, I didn’t like that, and there was a lot of it that was just bothering me for my own sake of what value systems I have.” She added that she understands the appeal of it for some people, and everyone has to decide what is best for them. “I do see a use of it and how you can use it well for work,” she said. “But I don’t think that I would like to use that tool to promote myself.”

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