‘WandaVision’: Elizabeth Olsen Was ‘Totally Freaked out’ at Scarlet Witch Getting Her Own Show

Elizabeth Olsen added new layers to the character of Scarlet Witch with her hit TV series WandaVision. But although Olsen eventually came around to the idea of having her own show, initially the concept gave her some trepidation.

This was partly because she wasn’t sure Wanda was a character that could’ve had a show built around her.

Elizabeth Olsen wasn’t pushing for a solo Scarlet Witch movie

Elizabeth Olsen posing while wearing a black and white dress.
Elizabeth Olsen | Mike Marsland/WireImage

Before the idea of a Disney+ series was a thing, Olsen was sure Marvel wasn’t entertaining a Scarlet Witch spin-off film. But it also wasn’t a concept that she was advocating for.

“We are at ground zero. It’s definitely not something I’m pushing, and I don’t know if it’s something that [Marvel is] going to push either,” she said on the podcast Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino.

However, the interview also revealed that she’d discussed with Paul Bettany their Marvel characters starring in a sitcom. Their concept of this show was ironically similar to what WandaVision turned out to be. Although at the time, she and Bettany didn’t take this idea seriously.

“Paul Bettany and I joked about having a domestic television show on Netflix or something, and it would just be like a house event where Scarlet Witch goes bananas. That’s what we joke about, but I don’t think any of those things are happening. But I’m happy that I’m still around and they still use me well – and that’s fine,” she said.

Elizabeth Olsen got ‘totally freaked out’ at the idea of starring in her own show

Olsen and Bettany’s inside joke soon became a reality. The concept of their show became the basis for the hit Disney+ series WandaVision, which featured homages to several classic sitcoms. But when Olsen was first told about the series, she shared she was more apprehensive than excited. Mostly because she was just used to starring in the films.

“I got really comfortable in the Marvel movies, taking up my piece of the story and my piece of, how does my little arc work in this much larger arc with 30 other characters? And so the idea of all the focus being on me and Paul [Bettany] totally freaked me out,” she told Vanity Fair.

Olsen wondered if these larger than life superhero characters fit the big screen better than the small screen.

“And that it was on television felt weird because these characters are superheroes and maybe they should be seen on big screens and not televisions. But the entire DNA of the show was meant for television. It was written for television. The arc has to be told through television. And from an actor point of view, it was something I’d never done. I’ve never done sitcom acting, let alone go through the decades with it,” she continued.

Elizabeth Olsen was anxious about ‘WandaVision’ being on a streaming service because of past experiences

Apart from the brief uncertainty that came with having her own show, Olsen also wasn’t sure about being on Disney+. Her experiences starring on a television series broadcast through Facebook didn’t inspire confidence in the streaming service.

“I did a version of that with Facebook. And I didn’t like that experience. I loved my show [Sorry for Your Loss] and I loved everyone that I worked with. But the Facebook relationship was frustrating because of the lack of television experience and how the platform is organized,” she said. “When we went to season two, we had a meeting that our show called for Facebook to have with us, so that we can give them our notes about their platform and why we think it’s really hard to find our show on their platform and how it’s congested.”

Her time on Facebook temporarily colored her expectations for Disney’s platform.

“So I was anxious going into Disney+. But I knew it was Disney. And I think I was more anxious with the Marvel characters being on television than I was about the Disney+ element,” she said.

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