Elizabeth Olsen reveals she had an identity crisis when she was just starting in Hollywood. The WandaVision star admits she even once considered dropping her last name entirely to stop being compared to her sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Speaking with Glamour UK recently, Olsen, 32, says the thought to ditch her last name first crossed her mind in 1999 — at the height of her big sisters’ fame.
“I was 10 and I was curious about auditioning,” she recalled. “During that time, I thought ‘I don’t want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley]’.”
Added Olsen, “I guess I understood what nepotism was like inherently as a 10-year-old. I don’t know if I knew the word, but there is some sort of association of not earning something that I think bothered me at a very young age. It had to do with my own insecurities.”
The Wind River star said her younger self devised a plan to step out from beneath her sisters’ shadow, revealing, “I did think ‘I’m going to be Elizabeth Chase [her middle name] when I become an actress."”
Mary-Kate and Ashley retired from acting in 2006 to launch their fashion brand, The Row, and even though her sisters have left Hollywood, Elizabeth says they left a lasting impression on her career.
Mostly, she credits the invaluable advice they gave her when she started out, which was, “No is a full sentence.”
“The word ‘No’ specifically was something that I remember my sisters isolating and it becoming really empowering,” nodded Olsen. “I always felt like I could say ‘No’ in any work situation – if someone was making me feel uncomfortable – and I just feel like that’s what we need. We don’t have to follow suit if it doesn’t feel right.”
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.