ELIZABETH OLSEN UPS THE FEMALE QUOTA IN MARVEL’S LATEST SUPERHERO FLICK CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Call her a superhero, call her kick-ass, call her an Avenger. Just don’t call Elizabeth Olsen one of the guys. “I have a problem with that saying,” the 27-year-old known as Lizzie says.
“To me, if you’re ‘one of the guys’, from a male’s perspective that means you’re normal and can hang out.
“It’s like, well no, she’s a woman who can match you, is what she is!”
On joining Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and the rest of Marvel’s A-team in last year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron as the young Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Olsen became just the second female in the gang – after Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.
“Scarlett and I, we’re not intimidated by masculine energy in masses,” Olsen says.
“It’s not because we’re one of the guys, it’s because we’re women who are happy to hold their own in a group of men.
“It’s a good thing you think I’m easy to hang out with, but that doesn’t mean I’m one of the guys … I’m a female!”
Indeed, given the welldocumented lack of women in the superhero movie sphere overall, the last thing anyone needs is for Olsen and Scarlet Witch to blend into the pack.
In her latest Marvel Cinematic Universe outing, Captain America: Civil War, Wanda is an Avenger in training. As the movie opens, she’s involved in a tragic accident that leads the US government to put limits on our heroes.
This causes a split in the Avengers – heroes falling into factions behind either the profreedom Captain America (Chris Evans) or the prolimitations Tony Stark/Iron Man.
Wanda, who is put into lockdown after the incident, falls firmly into Team Cap – partly because her spectacular blow up after her brother’s death in Ultron makes her the only Avenger other Avengers are afraid of.
That’s a beat Olsen loves playing: “I think the reason Stark has her locked up is because he’s terrified of her. I mean, her powers are limitless which is a hard thing to write and to play. The thing that limits her is her own mind, there’s always some inner conflict she has to go through.
“It’s exciting to think about how they (Marvel’s writers and directors) can use that later, ’cos it makes her someone who will always possibly crack or will take control. I don’t know what they’re gonna do!”
(Off screen, the Olsen and Downey relationship is inverted: “When I just see him in the hallway I get nervous!”)
Though she made her name with the acclaimed 2011 drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, Olsen is no indie elitist – she never sneered at superhero movies.
“I had such a nostalgia for Batman growing up – the Tim Burton series,” she says. “Batman Begins I loved as a kid. So I don’t judge that. Then Christopher Nolan made very smart Batman movies. Then when I saw Iron Man, it was witty and clever.
“So I never thought of it as something mindless. Working on them, especially as I get to be a part of the larger system, it’s very creatively fulfilling in totally different ways. And the community is magical.” Olsen has also taken to action like a duck to water. For Wind River, the movie she’s currently filming with fellow Avenger Jeremy Renner in snowy Utah, she’s been training with Green Berets and handling guns.
And while her witchy twitching has thus far involved more choreography than stunts, she’s expecting she’ll get to do “more wire stuff” as Wanda grows as an Avenger. She couldn’t have a better role model than Hollywood’s No.1 lady of action, Johansson.
“I’m jealous Scarlett gets to do so much of that,” Olsen laughs. “Scarlett is a tough, tough, cool chick. It was fun on
Civil War ’cos I got to work with her more and get to know her a little better.
“She’s smart and I love her career – she has such a great system worked out.” The younger sister of Full
House twins Mary-Kate and Ashley, Olsen made her screen debut in one of their telemovie adventures in 1994. She was about five, the same age she took an interest in dancing.
She found her passion for acting as a high-schooler in the Los Angeles suburbs.
She reckons she has the best of both worlds: moving between indies and Marvel movies.
Captain America: Civil War opens today
Elizabeth Olsen stars as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War which opens in cinemas today.