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Why Elizabeth Olsen Didn’t Want to Be “Associated” With Sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Growing Up

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Elizabeth made similar comments in a Grazia magazine interview published in February. “Nepotism is a thing and I’m very aware of it,” she said then. “And of course, I’ve always wanted to do it alone.”

The actress did ultimately make her onscreen acting debut, using her nickname Lizzie Olsen, in Mary-Kate and Ashley’s 1994 TV movie How the West Was Fun. She had a small role as a girl in a car.

Elizabeth did not appear onscreen again until 2011, when she starred in the thrillers Silent House and Martha Marcy May Marlene—her breakout role. She made her debut as Wanda / Scarlet Witch with an uncredited appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier before playing the role on a larger scale in Avengers: Age of Ultron the following year.

In a 2011 interview with Nylon magazine, Elizabeth recalled keeping the option of using her sisters’ industry connections to further her acting career open. “I went through a phase when I first got into college where I was thinking if I don’t get a manager or agent, I’ll ask the girls [Mary-Kate and Ashley] to help me,” she said. “I was OK with that idea, but I never needed it.”

Elizabeth, who has another sister and two brothers, also recalled feeling reluctant to pursue acting as a career following tabloid coverage of Mary-Kate, who was treated for an eating disorder in 2004, and Ashley when they were young adults. 

“That was when the media was what I found to be abusive to my sisters, and I thought I really didn’t want to be in the industry,” she told Nylon. “They turned 18 and what was going on in her life—I’m talking about Mary-Kate—was all over the news. They would follow us shopping and [Mary-Kate and Ashley] would almost get into car accidents because of the paparazzi, and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I just thought, This is such bulls–t.”

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