GIRL POWER

EL­IZ­A­BETH OLSEN UPS THE FE­MALE QUOTA IN MAR­VEL’S LATEST SU­PER­HERO FLICK CAPTAIN AMER­ICA: CIVIL WAR

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - NEALA JOHN­SON

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.

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