Elizabeth Olsen Gets Candid on Nepotism and Mary-Kate and Ashley

Hollywood family dynasties are nothing new. Perhaps it’s because the genetic abilities for good acting and unusually good looks tend to run in families. Perhaps it’s because those who are connected to the world of Hollywood tend to know the same people and build on the small world of interconnected stars, creators, and agents. Whatever the case, there’s no denying that stars with famous parents, siblings, and other relatives are common occurrences in film and television. 

Elizabeth Olsen knows that her last name rings bells because of the fame of her sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. As she makes a name for herself in her own right, Elizabeth Olsen opens up about the accusations of nepotism and how it shapes her work. 

(L-R) Mary-Kate Olsen, Elizabeth Olsen and Ashley Olsen smiling in front of a cityscape
(L-R) Mary-Kate Olsen, Elizabeth Olsen, and Ashley Olsen | Donato Sardella/Getty Images

How did Elizabeth Olsen become famous?

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These days, plenty of people know Elizabeth Olsen’s name all on its own — without any mention of her famous older sisters. That’s because the younger Olsen has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since her (uncredited) appearance as Wanda Maximoff in Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014. She would reprise that role (this time in credited fashion) for 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and again in 2018 for Infinity War and 2019 for Endgame

If you’ve been hearing more about her lately, it’s likely because she’s starring in her very own piece of the MCU in WandaVision, the bizarre and postmodern series that’s hard to talk about without spoiling completely, but suffice it to say that it’s a hit that has left fans wanting more. 

What are Ashley and Mary-Kate doing now?

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In the late 1980s, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were literally babies when they were cast to portray Michelle on Full House. Between their clear on-camera charisma and their marketing savvy, the twins were able to translate that success into a mega platform of films that kept them busy throughout their childhoods. They even launched their own production company, and through it, they were able to release a whole series of adorable mystery-themed films where the duo would solve who-done-its. 

As they aged out of the cutesy productions, the twins tried their hand at making the leap into slightly more mature — if still aimed at youth — films like New York Minute. The twins both found more interest in fashion than acting as they entered adulthood, and they started their own fashion label. The entrepreneurial duo has remained close throughout adulthood, and their success is undeniable. 

Elizabeth Olsen opens up about nepotism 

Of course, Elizabeth Olsen frequently gets asked about her famous older sisters now that she’s getting so much attention for her high-profile roles. In some ways, Olsen got her start in the business because of her sisters. Her very first acting experiences were way back in 1994 and 1995 when she played the parts of “Girl in Car” and “Girl with Flowers” in her sisters’ movie How the West was Fun and an episode of Full House. Still, Olsen has every reason to be annoyed when fans bring up these early forays onto a set as her real beginnings. 

She clearly didn’t have substantial roles, and she didn’t appear again until 2011 when she took on a role in Silent House. From that point forward, Olsen has made steady performances in not only the MCU but also flicks like Oldboy, Godzilla, and Wind River

Recently, Olsen opened up about how much the accusations of nepotism get to her. She told Grazia Magazine, “Nepotism is a thing and I’m very aware of it. And of course, I’ve always wanted to do it alone.” As Buzzfeed reports, that doesn’t mean Olsen hasn’t looked up to her sisters. In fact, she’s considered them style icons her “entire life.”

It’s worth noting that Elizabeth Olsen didn’t really start her ascent in the acting world until Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had started their departure from it. While the younger Olsen certainly can’t help it if people associate her name and similar looks with her famous sisters, she has definitely put forth the effort to build her reputation on her own talents rather than riding their coattails.