Exclusive: What Elizabeth Olsen Won't Talk About With Her Sisters

Photographed by Derek Wood.
It's not easy to command moviegoers' attention when you're sharing the screen with the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr. — especially when you're the new kid on the block. But, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, that's exactly what Elizabeth Olsen does (and then some).

You probably know Olsen from Martha Marcy May Marlene or Godzilla (and, of course, from her famous sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley), but this role is taking her career to the next level. She plays Scarlet Witch, one of the newly-introduced characters in the franchise's sequel, and a twin to Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver. But, this duo isn't just any old addition to the Marvel Universe. (Trust us; we got a sneak peek at the film!) 

"Aaron and I were completely integral to the plot," Olsen told us at a recent junket. "A lot of times, they introduce characters and they’re just kind of sidekicks, but we actually make certain moments of the film happen...it was really nice." To learn more, we sat down with Olsen to get all the details on her new role, from the scoop on what it was like working with Joss Whedon to the surprising way her sisters inspired her character.

You're on a very demanding press tour right now; how do you work with your beauty and styling team to be ready for so many red carpet events?
"I go through the last two to three seasons of fashion shows of designers I’ve worn before and liked, or designers I want to wear. I pull [style] numbers and send them to a stylist, and they get a better understanding of what kind of vibe I want. And, we have hours and hours and hours of fittings. With hair and makeup, I just tell them to do something that they want to do, because I don’t have a clue!"

How would you describe your personal style?

"Quiet and conservative."

Your sisters are huge style icons. Have they influenced your personal style?
"I wish I could dress like them all the time, but I don’t have those clothes. When we lived together, I would always steal their clothes. They have the best style, but I don’t have the same eye and mind for it as they do. I’m in awe of them."

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Studios.
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What superpower do you wish you had in real life?
"
I wish I had the power to heal people. I heard a brain surgeon talk about how he feels about his job. The way he sees himself and his job is that he just wants to give people more time. That was something that really impacted me and [made me think] how important that is."

Have any fans sent you particularly interesting notes or fan mail?

"I don’t deal with it. I’m the worst. When I’m filming and they give me a packet of fan mail, I just let someone else deal with it. That’s actually a part of this job that kind of trips me up a bit, so I just remove myself from it."

What kind of project are you dying to take on next?
“I loved working in London on this movie. I really would love to do a play with a great director in the West End or something; that would be awesome.”

Let's talk Avengers. How do you go about choosing your film roles?


“Before, when I first started working, I was so excited to be working that I just wanted to say yes to everything because I was just so thankful I had a job. Now, I want to make sure it’s the right group and the chemistry is going to be right between me and the director and the other actors that are going to be cast. Something like [Avengers], however, is more like, What? You want me? Okay, absolutely. I won’t think twice about it; it’s unbelievable."

How did growing up with twin sisters help you with this role? Did Mary-Kate and Ashley give you any advice?
"We don’t talk about work, but, I grew up with twins. Maybe that’s something that subconsciously seeps in, I guess — kind of completing someone’s thoughts and making sure the other person is alright. Aaron and I talked about it a lot. Basically, in all of their art together in the comic books, they’re incredibly close. They’re holding hands, and they’re always in some sort of protective situation. The way we understood it was that they didn’t even have to speak to each other to be able to understand each other. They’re all each other had in the world. They completed each other.” 

Photographed by Derek Wood.
The movie is especially star-studded. What was it like working with so many talented actors?
"It’s obviously the best company to be part of. It’s incredibly inspiring and a little daunting, but everyone was so kind. No one has an ego — even if they have an ego, they joke about it. They’re aware of it, and it’s funny; it’s not real.”

The other Avengers all have physical powers, while your character’s are all mental. Can you talk about what that added to the plot and how it changed the dynamic between the characters?
"It was kind of the ultimate trust task I had to do for Joss [Whedon]: trusting that he made me look like what was in my head. Because in my head, I’m killing all these robots with my energy, and everyone else is having contact with other stunt guys, and actually doing cool things, and [for me], it’s all in my imagination. So, you just hope that someone in special effects makes you look like you’re doing something for real."

Were there any particularly funny behind-the-scenes moments?

"I always just thought it was really trippy to be in a scene where the world is ending, and all the Avengers would be there, and when we’d say 'cut,' what everyone did in between set-ups was just so silly. Everyone has a hair and makeup person — there’s like seven of us, so all of these people are flooding in. Now, all of a sudden there’s fourteen more people on set putting fake sweat on you and fake robot blood on you. We all looked silly. We’re all dressed up in these funny outfits saving the world. There’s just something so funny about the behind-the-scenes of this film in a Waiting For Guffman way — it was incredibly comedic and bizarre." 
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