Elizabeth Olsen on the uplifting community of widowers and mourners that has formed around Sorry For Your Loss

Elizabeth Olsen on the uplifting community of widowers and mourners that has formed around Sorry For Your Loss

Elizabeth Olsen has opened up the community of mourners that have formed around Sorry For Your Loss, the Facebook Watch drama that she both produced and starred in as a young widower.When its trailer was released back in August those who have suffered a loss and have struggled with grief took to “Sorry For Your Loss’s” Facebook page to share their own stories. This dialogue and the community of people looking to exchange their stories and help each other has only increased with passing episode.

I had the chance to speak to Olsen before the first episode of the show had aired, and she admitted that the response to the trailer was exactly the reason why Facebook Watch was the perfect platform for “Sorry For Your Loss,” something that the increased level of sharing has only underlined.

“I think that is the point of it being on Facebook. I mean, I read comments about me on Facebook once and I was like, ‘I am never doing that again.’”

“But for these comments to be a source of communication and a community is the whole point why Facebook created Facebook Watch. That’s why it is the perfect place for the show.”

“Because most people come to Facebook and discover that there is a baby or that someone died and you try to figure out when the service is.”

“That’s how you receive the information. It is also a place of different grieving groups or of people who are a certain age and have lost this certain thing.”

“So they can find a community that they can’t find where they live, so they can communicate about things that they can’t at home. That’s what we want this show to start as a dialogue between people and their lives.”

“The fact that it is a visual dialogue that you can read is pretty crazy to me especially when there are articles written about what people are just stating publicly. It is really nice that it has already created this dialogue.”

The final episodes of “Sorry For Your Loss” will air on Facebook Watch at 9pm on Facebook Watch on October 9.

How Elizabeth Olsen’s ‘Sorry for Your Loss’ Became a Stunning Exploration of Grief and Moving On

How Elizabeth Olsen’s ‘Sorry for Your Loss’ Became a Stunning Exploration of Grief and Moving On

Warning: This interview contains spoilers from the first six episodes of Facebook Watch’s Sorry for Your Loss, which are streaming now.

Sorry for Your Loss is this year’s best-kept secret.

In Facebook Watch’s stellar half-hour drama series, Elizabeth Olsen plays Leigh Shaw, a young widow trying to pick up the pieces following the sudden death of her husband, Matt (Mamoudou Athie). She is a millennial filled with anger, quiet rage and bite, but as she gradually discovers, her husband’s loss forces her to reexamine her own life and her relationships to those closest to her, namely her sister, Jules (Kelly Marie Tran), a recovering alcoholic; mother Amy (Janet McTeer), owner of a floundering gym; and Matt’s brother, Danny (Jovan Adepo).

Instead of wallowing in her grief, Sorry for Your Loss provides Leigh the freedom to experience and process the death of her husband in her own way. After all, there is no right way to grieve. For creator Kit Steinkellner, who drew inspiration from a near-traumatic experience with her husband, and showrunner Lizzy Weiss, that was the guiding principle that was top of mind for the long-gestating 10-episode series.

“One of the things that we learned is there isn’t one authentic way and that’s what we’re trying to honor with every character — that every character is experiencing [Matt’s] death in a different way,” Weiss tells ET. “Every character is very different in the way they process it and when we talked to our psychiatrist and grief experts, that’s the truth. That’s the message. There isn’t a right way to go through loss and however you’re feeling, you’re allowed to feel.”

“From the original pitch, it was the intention to show that this is a multi-faceted experience because life is multi-faceted. It is devastating one minute and then something comes along that is completely hilarious and you’re laughing through your tears,” Steinkellner tells ET. “We were very careful in calibrating the changes to maintain the overall tone of the show to make sure it was consistent.”

With the second half of the freshman season hitting Facebook Watch over the next week, Steinkellner and Weiss talk to ET about the challenges of making the series, what it says about difficult topics like death and loss, and why there’s much more story to tell.

ET: Kit, when did you first get the idea for Sorry for Your Loss?

Kit Steinkellner: It will be five years around the holidays since I started writing the pilot. In the first episode, there is a flashback sequence when [Leigh] wakes up in the middle of the night and her husband is nowhere to be found and she is scared out of her mind that something terrible has happened to him. That was very much based on a real night in my life. Everything was fine, my husband was fine but I couldn’t shake it, just the terror of what had happened and what could have happened. It had been a year where a couple of important people in my life had died, so I felt very vulnerable and unsafe in that moment in time. I started thinking deeply about what it would be like to survive this impossible thing — something people survive every day. The more I started thinking about this heroine, in particular, played by Lizzy Olsen, and the people in her life, I really grew to love them and I really needed to tell their story. It was burning a hole in my gut.

Did having personal experiences with losing loved ones during a short period of time make the process of writing this show more challenging? Did you find it cathartic?

Steinkellner: It was all of those things. I joked about a few times while making this that if this had been directly autobiographical, if my husband was dead, I would not have written the show, I would have written a fantasy or a space opera. It would have been too painful to write this exactly how I wrote it. What we were able to do throughout the series is you take one truth and then you put it inside the pocket of another truth and then you put that inside another vessel of truth, so it’s like a matryoshka doll of truth.

How early in the creative process was Elizabeth Olsen, who also is an executive producer, brought in? Was she always the first choice to be Leigh?

Steinkellner: Yes. Once Lizzy had read the material and sat down and we talked, it was this crazy experience where I realized I had written the part for her without knowing I had written this part for her. She was the only lead. She was always meant to play this role. It’s impossible to imagine anybody else doing what she does with this role. I think that was fall 2015, so it’s been a couple of years.

Source: Yahoo

Will there be a second season of Sorry For Your Loss?

Will there be a second season of Sorry For Your Loss?

Elizabeth Olsen has opened up about the possibility of a second season of Sorry For Your Loss, admitting that she has already had some ideas about what the show could cover in the future. “We’ve talked about potentially what we could do in a second season,” explained Olsen, who is both a producer and actor on “Sorry For Your Loss.” “But that is not in our control. That would totally be a different discussion. I have no idea how this is even going to work, with the streaming.” “I’ve never been part of anything streaming really. This whole world to me is very new. I am interested in learning from it.”

While Olsen is well aware that a second season of “Sorry For Your Loss” is not in her control, she did tease potential storylines that the show could explore in further episodes.

“I don’t know, if there was a second season, would it be just be about these characters? There are so many options. Because we have already created the them of memory and we could create other characters even.”

“We could talk about grief. Whether it is being an adopted child, losing a marriage, those are the kind of things we could take other characters’ point of view. I’m not sure. I don’t know. I’m excited to see what we do with it.”

Created by playwright Kit Steinkellner and with episodes directed by James Ponsoldt, “Sorry For Your Loss” sees Olsen star as Leigh Shaw, a writer who has recently become widowed after the death of her husband Matt (Mamaoudo Athie). The show also stars Kelly Marie Tran and Janet McTeer.

“Sorry For Your Loss” has been met with widespread critical acclaim, so much so that its eight episode long first season amassed a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The final two episodes of the first season of “Sorry For Your Loss” will air on Facebook Watch on October 9.

Avengers Scarlet Witch Has Yet to Be Called by Her Code Name

Avengers Scarlet Witch Has Yet to Be Called by Her Code Name

Over the last few Marvel Studios films, Scarlet Witch has become a popular hero and is one of the most powerful characters in the Avengers. But while everyone else goes by their code name from time to time, no one has yet to refer to her by her superhero callsign.

Elizabeth Olsen’s character is introduced as Wanda Maximoff alongside her twin brother Pietro in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Though the hero not referred to as Quicksilver ends up biting the dust in that film, Wanda goes on to appear in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, becoming a pivotal part in both films.

And yet, no one ever refers to her as Scarlet Witch throughout all three films. Usually, everyone just calls her Wanda. This is surprising, considering a lot of fans refer to the character by that name, as she’s known to be called in her comic book appearances.

Scarlet Witch, er, Wanda Maximoff is not the only character to not have a superhero name. Sam Wilson, who is known as the Falcon in the comic books, always goes by his first name, despite having a drone that he calls Redwing — straight out of the comic books.

But most everyone else has a callsign that they go by, especially if they have their own solo movie. Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Vision, STAR-LORD! Perhaps it’s time for someone to make a fan petition to get Marvel to give Scarlet Witch the respect she deserves.

All jokes aside, Marvel is likely about to get in on the branding game for Wanda Maximoff very soon. It was recently revealed that Marvel Studios is working on limited series based on characters who won’t get their own movies, including Loki and, you guessed it, Scarlet Witch.

Elizabeth on exploring grief in Sorry for your Loss

Elizabeth on exploring grief in Sorry for your Loss

Here’s an interview with Coveteur. Elizabeth answered a Q and A read her responses below.

How did you get involved with this project?

“I had read the script three years ago. I had just gone through, not a death, but a loss and a life adjustment, so I related to my character [and the feeling of] being completely confused about how to move forward. We haven’t really told an authentic story about grief and the everyday—how it’s not something that you go through the stages and get out on the other side. It’s a continual adjustment to your life, and you can’t do anything but move forward.

“I always think about how we all have a backpack of shit that we carry with us from all the trauma that we’ve experienced (or all the loss we’ve had or the pains we’ve gone through) that are unique to each individual person. We walk through life with this weight on our back, but we walk through it anyway; you’re fine, and that’s just you. And then you add an extra loss, or something new, an adjustment, and it becomes a huge new weight—you never lose the weight, it never goes away, you just adjust how you walk through life and move forward. [Sorry for Your Loss] is not fancy and it’s not dramatic, but what I love about the show is that it gets cozy in the mundane and the monotony of that experience, how long it takes, and how it never goes away. You continue to have relationships with this person [you lost].”

Did you find it challenging capturing the complexities of grief?

“Yeah, you really need it in the writing—you can’t just whip it up from nowhere. You don’t want to play a state of mind. You just have to play the scene and stay grounded in whatever’s happening in that moment. The thing I enjoyed about the television aspect of it and working with Facebook as opposed to a network and deeming it a comedy or a drama, is that we got to adjust our tone for different episodes. The first two episodes are pretty depressing; the third one, there’s humor off the bat; and the fourth one is also lighthearted; the fifth one is introspective; the sixth one is manic. It’s helpful to get to see this woman not living in this [one] state [all the time] and to get to play with this change and the new version of herself.”

How did you prepare for the role? You consulted with Dr. Scott A. Irwin?

“Yeah, we did. He was more there for Mamoudou [Athie] because his character deals with depression. For me, I just chatted with him and had a couple questions since I’ve been a part of this for three years—in the pitch room and in development—and it was a part of trying to figure out what story we were going to tell. As a group, we liked to research essays about memory and the brain, and how we remember things and what happens to memory. I reread Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking a few times over, and the thing that I loved about that was that there was this cyclical obsession of repeating a memory and wanting to hold on to the details because once the details are gone, that person really feels gone. Playing with memory in that way for the show is also a larger theme. Those were the main things for prep or research.”

Images from the interview can be viewed in our gallery.

Photoshoots & Campaigns > 2018 > Session #012

Continue reading Elizabeth on exploring grief in Sorry for your Loss

Elizabeth teaches Conan to curse in Russian

Elizabeth teaches Conan to curse in Russian

Actress Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch in the Marvel cinematic universe, spent her study-abroad in Russia and picked up some rather interesting language skills, she revealed to late-night host Conan O’Brien. Two more clips could be viewed on Conan’s site via TeamCoco

Scarlet Witch Reportedly getting TV Show on Disney Streaming Service

Scarlet Witch Reportedly getting TV Show on Disney Streaming Service

Per Variety, “each series is expected to include six to eight episodes,” and the projects are being described as limited series, meaning that they theoretically wouldn’t extend past one season.

Performer of the Week: Elizabeth Olsen

Performer of the Week: Elizabeth Olsen

THE PERFORMER | Elizabeth Olsen

THE SHOW | Sorry for Your Loss

THE EPISODE | “One Fun Thing” (Sep. 18, 2018)

THE PERFORMANCE | Playing a grieving widow almost seems like an acting cliché at this point, with the requisite tears and inspirational quotes. But Olsen smashed our expectations in the series premiere of Facebook Watch’s new drama, painting an exquisite portrait of a woman who’s still mourning the loss of her husband after the rest of the world has moved on. It’s a stunning performance that gets under your skin and stays there.

As Olsen’s character Leigh delivered a riveting opening monologue to her grief group, her face was an emotionally numb blank slate, masking her anger and sadness beneath a tough outer shell of sarcastic humor. (Olsen conveys so much with her eyes in this role: still bright, but muted, as if they’re all cried out.) We also saw that Leigh wasn’t always miserable, in flashbacks to happier times with her late husband Matt, as Olsen displayed the ample warmth and affection that’s since been sapped out of Leigh. She finally broke down, her voice trembling, when the one indulgence she still had — the free donuts at her grief group — was taken away from her. (“Nothing makes me feel better enough!”) Later, Leigh frantically searched for a missing Matt in flashback, and her chin quivered with gratitude as her sister offered to help her clean out her old house… it was like a decathlon of acting challenges, and Olsen sailed through them all with ease.

It’s a heartbreaking series to watch, to be sure, but Olsen’s strength and honesty helps keep it from feeling like a drag. Leigh isn’t exactly a cuddly character, and her journey is a messy one, with plenty of false starts and setbacks. The sheer power of Olsen’s performance, though, makes us want to keep following along with her every step of the way.

Why Sorry For Your Loss Makes Watching TV on Facebook Worthwhile

Why Sorry For Your Loss Makes Watching TV on Facebook Worthwhile

Sorry for Your Loss stars Elizabeth Olsen as a grieving young widow, Leigh, whose husband Matt (Mamoudou Athie) died three months ago. Avoiding the apartment where they lived, she’s moved back in with her mother Amy (Janet McTeer) and her sister Jules (Kelly Marie Tran), both of whom she also works with at a fitness studio called Beautiful Beast. As Leigh goes through the motions of teaching classes and going to group therapy, she’s constantly reminded of her life with Matt, as she tries to figure out how to live without him. And yet, Sorry for Your Loss plays with a beautiful balance that never allows the story to get too dark or mired in sadness. Life is happening to and around Leigh as she processes everything, and Olsen adds the slightest bit of wry humor to her performance that is both necessary and appreciated.

The series comes from Kit Steinkellner (Z: The Beginning of Everything); James Ponsoldt directs the first two episodes, followed by Jessica Yu and Allison Anders, all of whom imbue the series with an indie-film aesthetic that includes natural light, a minimal score, and an emphasis on true, relatable interactions. Leigh isn’t always easy to like — she’s sharp, dry, sarcastic, and overwhelmed by her sadness — but crucially, she’s easy to care about. As the episodes continue, the dynamic among the three women in the house becomes clearer, with Jules as the recovering alcoholic working hard to reestablish trust with her mother and sister, and Amy as the hippy-earth-mother who is also trying to succeed as a businesswoman. All of these actresses are outstanding, and like Olsen, give both the depth and the necessary lightness to such a difficult piece. It’s at this point, around the show’s third episode, that Leigh’s grief stops being the focal point, and instead, things settle into more of family drama — but one that Matt is still deeply a part of.

Elizabeth plays grieving widow in new Facebook series

Elizabeth plays grieving widow in new Facebook series

Elizabeth Olsen is not a user of social media, has never been married, and has never experienced profound loss, but the actress has spent her 2018 surrounded by grief as a young widow in the new Facebook Watch series “Sorry For Your Loss.”

The 10-episode, half-hour drama premiered earlier this month on the social media site’s new on-demand platform.

“It’s just a journey into how we handle grief and sometimes it’s not in the prettiest of ways, and what it brings out in people,” said Olsen.

Viewers see her character, Leigh, not only contend with a new reality and future that she never imagined, but also deal with the pressure from her loved ones to move on. There’s a poignant scene where Leigh’s sister Jules (played by Kelly Marie Tran) asks her to return to the house she’s been avoiding for months — that she shared with her husband — and pick up some of her own clothes so she can stop borrowing hers. It seems like an easy ask, but beneath the surface it’s so much more.

“It’s a readjustment to how you walk through life and we’re just watching this woman adjust to how she is going to move forward because the only thing she can do is move forward,” Olsen said. “There’s no going back.”

Olsen, who is an executive producer of the series, has been involved in the project from the beginning, from its pitch to filming. She also sat in on post-production editing sessions. It’s been a welcome challenge for the actress, best known for playing the Scarlet Witch in Marvel movies.

She calls it “the No. 1 learning experience I have had.”

She says Facebook Watch felt like an appropriate home for the show because the social media site is where people go to share important details.

“What I know about Facebook is that it’s a place where people find out about births and they find out about deaths and they find out about where the services will be,” she said. “It’s a community for those big experiences in people’s lives and those big moments.”

As far as tackling grief, Olsen has absorbed as much information as she could find on the topic and she wanted to portray it as realistically as possible.

“It’s constant if you’re looking for it,” she said. She studied author Joan Didion, whose 2005 book, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” chronicles how she lost her husband and daughter in a short amount of time.

Olsen says she’s learned that memory is its own hurdle in the grieving process, and the series uses flashbacks to help viewers understand Leigh’s relationship with her late husband, Matt (played by Mamoudou Athie).

“When the memory starts to become foggy, (people) really feel like they didn’t just physically lose a person, now they’re losing them in their thoughts and that’s the most painful experience,” said Olsen.

And she says there’s something to be said about portraying a character who’s confronted by loss at a young age.

“She is a young woman who has lost a husband and it’s different than being a little bit older and wiser and having already experienced and trained yourself how to best go through pain and trauma,” Olsen said. “I don’t think she’s had anything this difficult in her entire life, so the person that she is, is not thoughtful right now, and that’s what was fun about it as well. It’s just kind of having some erratic behavior at times.”

Olsen is already thinking about more episodes.

“I do think about like what could we do with season two and how we could even play with our concept of memory and how we use flashbacks, and how to use it for other characters. I’d be interested in like shifting perspective a bit more and getting more creative with that, since you can’t really tell this story again.”