25 Things About Elizabeth Olsen

The 'Marcy Martha May Marlene' star may be the younger sister of the infamous Olsen twins, but Elizabeth Olsen is much, much more than simply that!
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25 Things About Elizabeth Olsen

The ‘Marcy Martha May Marlene’ star may be the younger sister of the infamous Olsen twins, but Elizabeth Olsen is much, much more than simply that!

-Lucia Peters

Elizabeth Olsen

Have you seen Martha Marcy May Marlene yet? Because if you haven’t, you should. It’s a truly incredible film with a brilliant performance from an astonishing young actress. That actress is Elizabeth Olsen, and she wowed audiences and critics alike with her portrayal of a young woman readjusting to life with her family after returning from the clutches of an abusive cult in the Catskill Mountains. Now that awards season is kicking up, there’s all sorts of positive buzz surrounding this promising new star; but exactly who is Elizabeth Olsen, other than the younger sister to the famous twins Mary-Kate and Ashley? It seems like she sort of just crawled out of the metaphorical woodwork, doesn’t it? But never fear! Here’s a crash course in everything you need to know about her. Come and meet Elizabeth Olsen!

1. Elizabeth was born on February 16, 1989 in Sherman Oaks, California. That makes her 22 years old, three years younger than Mary-Kate and Ashley.

2. Her full name is Elizabeth Chase Olsen, but she often goes by the nickname Lizzie.

3. Elizabeth made her big screen debut in Martha Marcy May Marlene.

4. She’s already been nominated for some pretty impressive awards for her work in Marcy Martha: She got nods for both the Independent Spirit Award Best Female Lead and the Gotham Independent Film Award Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress.

5. Martha Marcy first debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last winter, but that wasn’t the only movie she appeared in at the fest: She also played Sarah, the lead in the art-house horror flick Silent House, which is due for commercial release in 2012.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth with John Hawkes in ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene.

6. She took ballet lessons as a child—but was dropped from the class by her teacher after failing to show up often enough. At least she had a good reason for her absences—she was going on audition after audition!

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7. Speaking of, one of those auditions was for Spy Kids. She didn’t land the role, but in retrospect, maybe that’s a good thing.

8. Like her older sisters, Elizabeth went to NYU; unlike them, though, she’s actually set to graduate. Elizabeth has spent her college years at the Tisch School of the Arts and the Atlantic Theatre Company.

9. She spent a semester abroad at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia as well. It’s safe to say that she’s got some pretty good acting chops.

10. Her gift as an actress lies in her ability to convey so much while doing very little. Said Sean Durkin, writer/director of Martha Marcy, about Elizabeth’s audition, “There waso much going on behind her eyes.” Bruce Beresford, who directed her in the upcoming Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, said similarly, “Nothing ever struck me as false with her…. She listens wonderfully. She has a scene where Jane [Fonda] is telling her about a sculpture she has made. Jane does all the talking. Lizzie doesn’t say anything and yet you’re fascinated by her reaction.”

11. Did she have cameos in her sisters’ made-for-TV movies? You bet she did.

12. Elizabeth’s primary residence is in New York City’s West Village—she’s got a 300-square-foot one-bedroom apartment of her own—but she’s thinking about taking a partial share in a friend’s apartment in L.A. too, just so she’s got a base to work from on both coasts.

More facts about Elizabeth, including why she almost once quit acting and what her dream roles are, up next!

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