“I wanted a job so badly, and those just happened to be the movies I was offered,” says Elizabeth Olsen when asked about the surprisingly intense roles she’s tackled in her nascent big-screen career. It sounds a bit odd at first to hear the 23-year-old talking like the prototypical struggling actress, desperate for any part she can get – she is, after all, the younger sister of monolithic child stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, whose showbiz connections could presumably have opened any number of Hollywood doors.
But if Olsen’s family tree afforded her any potential shortcuts to stardom, she had no interest in taking them. Instead, she chose to forge her own path, heading back east, where she learned the craft at NYU and honed her skills on the stage, becoming, as she puts it, a “theatre kid.” Her efforts paid off handsomely last year, when she broke out in sparkling fashion with the haunting indie drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, earning an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her portrayal of a traumatized cult escapee.
Her preternatural depth and maturity are again on display in her latest film, Silent House, an indie creeper in which she plays a young girl trapped in a shambling coastal house as anonymous tormentors surround her. The film’s “real-time” gimmick – it’s constructed to appear as a single, 88-minute take – lives and dies on Olsen’s ability to stay in character for mammoth amounts of time, and she quite convincingly pulls it off.
In an exclusive interview with Hollywood.com, Olsen talked about the challenges of Silent House and reflected on the tabloid scrutiny she’s incurred as a result of her newfound notoriety (she was recently linked to True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard):
Silent House opens this Friday, March 9, 2012.
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