Elizabeth Olsen Opened Up About Why She Almost Didn’t Go Into Acting

It had everything to do with her very famous older sisters.

If you were one of the millions of kids who zoomed home after school and switched on ABC Family—now called Freeform—to watch Full House before your parents made you sit down to do homework, then you’re more than well-versed in the world of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The family series propelled the sister-sister duo into a whole new level of fame and fortune back in the ’90s, and for this reason, their younger sister, Elizabeth Olsen, said she was out.

“I thought ‘I don’t want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley],’ for some reason,” she revealed in her April digital cover story for Glamour U.K. magazine, released April 21st.

As we know now, Olsen did pursue acting, eventually landing the role of Wanda in Marvel’s WandaVision, which has become one of the most talked-about TV shows of the year. But, it was far from smooth sailing for the actress, who explained she adhered to the word nepotism at a very young age.

“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,” she told the magazine. Being an Olsen sister, it was that drive that kept her away from entertainment and Hollywood. That coupled with missing her extracurricular activities and sports—the regular everyday activities of a pre-teen.

Despite turning her back on actively auditioning, Olsen still graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Caught in a landslide of emotions and conflict post-grad, Olsen thought she would be better suited on Wall Street as a finance girl. 

“I thought I was going to be on Wall Street. I don’t know what I wanted, I was just good at math. And I’m good at sciences so [I thought] maybe I should do something like that,” she laughed. Though in the end, it wasn’t acting, and that’s always been what she’s wanted. 

With her family’s support, she got back out there, but revealed it was the twins’ biggest piece of advice that helped her persevere.

“The word ‘No’ specifically was something that I remember my sisters isolating and it becoming really empowering,” she explained. Because of this, she felt like the power had been restored back to her.

“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. We need to be listening to our gut. There was a time where women were competing with one another and now we’re at a time where women are holding each other up.”

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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