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.”

Elizabeth Olsen, Mamoudou Athie, Kit Steinkellner and James Ponsoldt on Sorry For Your Loss

Elizabeth Olsen, Mamoudou Athie, Kit Steinkellner and James Ponsoldt on Sorry For Your Loss

Elizabeth Olsen, Mamoudou Athie, director James Ponsoldt (he helmed the first two episodes) and Kit Steinkellner. They talked about how the show came together, what it’s about, getting to play characters with so many layers, what it was like working for Facebook, the editing process, if they pitched the show with a multi-season plan, and a lot more.

In addition, towards the end of the interview, they played “Get to Know Your TIFF Attendee”, which includes questions like what TV show they’d like to guest star on, what film scared them as a kid, what is the background photo on their phone, what TV show have they watched all the way through more than once, what movie they have seen more than 20 times, and more.

Source: Collider

My First Audition

Elizabeth Reacts to Being Asked If She’s in ‘Avengers 4’

In Avengers: Infinity War, audiences saw Scarlet Witch disintegrate at the hands of Thanos and his deadly snap. Fans are taking to the internet to search whether or not Elizabeth Olsen will reprise the role in Avengers 4, with the actress refusing to address either way if she will appear in the film. You can see her reaction to the inquiry in the video above around the 2:04-mark.

ACE Comic Con Midwest

ACE Comic Con Midwest

Josh Brolin (Thanos), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Tom Hiddleston (Loki), stars of the worldwide hit Avengers film franchise, are headlining ACE Comic Con Midwest at Chicago’s Navy Pier, October 12-13-14, 2018. Zazie Beetz (Domino), Tom Ellis (Lucifer), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), and Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser) round out the current lineup. WWE® fans will have the opportunity to meet WWE Superstars The Bella Twins®, WWE Superstar Seth Rollins®, and WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss™! The event will feature live panel programming throughout the weekend with moderators Brian Posehn, who will also perform a comedy set on Friday night FREE to all Friday ACE attendees, Angélique Roché, and Lilian Garcia. Additional guests will be announced over the coming weeks. VIP Admissions, Photo Ops, Autographs, and General Admission tickets are on sale now via www.acecomiccon.com.

ACE Comic Con Midwest 2018 (PRNewsfoto/ACE Universe)

Marvel Might Make Scarlet Witch an MCU Mutant, After All

Marvel Might Make Scarlet Witch an MCU Mutant, After All

Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch might turn out to be a mutant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after all.

The character’s origin story was altered by comparison to its Marvel Comics source material when she was introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s post-credits scene and fully in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the comics, Wanda Maximoff and her brother Pietro contain the mutant gene, the key characteristic of heroes and villains making up the X-Men characters. However, with Fox owning the cinematic rights to the X-Men characters and their traits, Disney was burdened with altering the story for the children of Magneto in order to use them.

With a deal with Fox and Disney looming, which would allow the Fox-owned characters to be rebooted or merged into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new book recapping the first 10 years of Marvel Studios is planting seeds for Scarlet Witch to be a mutant, all along.

“She may be called Scarlet Witch, but Wanda’s powers aren’t derived from the occult,” the book reads (via ScreenRant). “Whether it altered her or merely unlocked something latent inside Wanda, the Infinity Stone on Loki’s scepter bestowed incredible powers of the mind. Wanda’s internal neuro-electric interface allows her to conjure blasts of red telekinetic energy. She can also use this energy to create barriers, levitate and move objects; to communicate and read thoughts by telepathy; and even to manipulate the minds of others.”

While Marvel Studios might try to smooth over a hidden mutant gene having existed in Wanda all along, the notion of introducing her father is perplexing. A major driver for Wanda and Pietro in Avengers: Age of Ultron was their parents having been killed by Stark Industries weapons, fueling their desire to see Iron Man killed.

While the death of Maximoff parents was never shown on screen and fans know not to accept a character death in comic book movies until they see a body, such a reversal on the story might not sit well with some fans of the MCU’s continuity. At the same time, they might be so happy to see the X-Men being introduced to the mix that it could be a forgivable retcon, of sorts.

Wanda Maximoff may or may not appear in the next Avengers movie, which is slated for release in May of 2019. In Avengers: Infinity War, the character was wiped from existence when Thanos snapped his fingers with a fully formed Infinity Gauntlet. This would mean both of Magneto’s children are currently dead, so maybe the trio will be resurrected in some fashion for a very unexpected, X-Men heavy Phase 4?

Elizabeth Olsen wants ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ to start a conversation about grief and stop it from being a taboo subject

Elizabeth Olsen wants ‘Sorry For Your Loss’ to start a conversation about grief and stop it from being a taboo subject

Elizabeth Olsen has opened up about her brand new show Sorry For Your Loss, admitting that she partially took on the project because she doesn’t think grief should be a taboo subject anymore.

“Grief is something that we have to all go through,” Olsen explained to me over the phone recently. “It is this inevitable thing that people don’t talk about. We don’t talk about what is acceptable and what is not.”

“Grief is a taboo subject. So I thought it would be interesting to fill that whole with storytelling that isn’t a step program for how to overcome loss. It is about someone that is genuinely dealing with loss.”

“My analogy has always been, we all have this backpack that we wear that is full of trauma and pain and loss. And we walk through life with this weight on us.”

“When you lose someone, the backpack doesn’t change the person doesn’t become forgotten, you just have to adjust how you get through life with that adjustment and that new weight.”

“It is about that process. It isn’t clean, you don’t go through stages and then it is over. There’s a cyclical nature that your mind goes through, in order to not lose the memory or details.”

“The moment the memory becomes fuzzy is the moment you feel like you’re losing them for real. That was something that we got to play with with the flashback. It is about how memory changes.”

“It is not just something we use as a tool to explain things. We use it in multiple ways throughout the season. It is about how we perceive our memory and how they change.”

But while that might make you think that “Sorry For Your Loss,” which sees Olsen star as a young widow that is still coming to terms with the death of her husband, is heavy viewing, the actress insisted that she was actually first attracted to it because of its unique humor.

“I just loved the dialogue and the way the characters developed. Leigh was a funny person to try and console.”

“I loved that the pilot made me laugh. There were certain things and details to the way her family lived and between her mum and her sister that I found really funny.”

It has been a whirlwind couple of months for Olsen, who is also a producer on the show, as she admitted to me that she has spent all of 2018 helping to orchestrate “Sorry For Your Loss.”

“We only went into pre-production in January, started shooting in March. I really didn’t understand how we would put a crew and cast and a writing room together in such a short time.”

“My whole 2018 has been ‘Sorry For Your Loss.’ We actually only finished editing a week ago.”

You can see what they have achieved with “Sorry For Your Loss” when it premieres on Facebook Watch on Tuesday September 18.

Elizabeth Olsen opens up about experiencing panic attacks, and why she ‘didn’t want anyone to know’ at the time

Elizabeth Olsen opens up about experiencing panic attacks, and why she ‘didn’t want anyone to know’ at the time

The statuesque Elizabeth Olsen is the picture of poise, but she has ups and downs, just like the rest of us. The actress revealed to Build on Wednesday that while filming a movie earlier in her career, she began to experience panic attacks.

Olsen was visiting Build to promote her new Facebook Watch show Sorry for Your Loss. When asked about some of the most important lessons she’s learned from other actors, the 29-year-old got candid about her time on the set of a 2012 movie, Red Lights, working with legends like Sigourney Weaver and Robert De Niro.

“I did this movie called Red Lights that no one saw,” she recalled. “It was actually a really weird time in my life because I was experiencing panic attacks for the first time.”

She kept her struggle to herself, however, for fear of professional complications.

“I didn’t want anyone to know, because I thought they wouldn’t insure me or something,” she said.

And it wasn’t just one or two incidents. “I kept having panic attacks while filming, but I didn’t let anyone know. It was really weird.”

Olsen has previously discussed the ways in which she has experienced this in the past. She once had a “bit of a panic attack” at the Sundance Film Festival. “You have all the lights on you, and there’s really no point of focus,” she told Philadelphia Style in 2017. “I hate it. It freaks me out. So, I thought, I’m going to take my shoes off. And I remember every moment.”

Anxiety has affected her in other ways. She shared with Evening Standard Magazine last year that the red carpet is not her “comfort zone,” saying if she isn’t comfortable in what she’s wearing, she might cry.

“Sometimes when I’m not in something that I love, I cry on the way to the premiere and I’m posing with my shoulders as far back as they go. Then I look at the photos and I’m like, “It did look nice. Why was I crying?”’ she said.

Olsen has forged ahead with her career, making films like Ingrid Goes West and playing the Scarlet Witch in the Avengers franchise. She has waded into producing as well. Olsen shared on Build that she’s a control freak, which made creating Sorry for Your Loss a great challenge since she executive-produced one of the episodes in the series, which was a career first for her.

Continue reading Elizabeth Olsen opens up about experiencing panic attacks, and why she ‘didn’t want anyone to know’ at the time

Elizabeth Olsen on ‘Making Peace’ With Grief in ‘Sorry for Your Loss’

Elizabeth Olsen on ‘Making Peace’ With Grief in ‘Sorry for Your Loss’

Elizabeth Olsen has been appearing in films since she was about four years old, but her acting career began in earnest with the 2011 film “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” Now she’s trying her hand at the small-screen with “Sorry for Your Loss,” a which she not only stars in but also executive produces.

“Long-form has always been interesting to me because all of the different turns a character can take and change and evolve over time,” Olsen tells Variety. “And with Kit [Steinkellner]’s pilot, I just found not only the character could be someone that I immediately felt connection to — it made me laugh, it made me cry — and it was at a time in my life where I was in a transition.”

The show, which will launch the first four episodes at once on Facebook Watch Sept. 18, centers on Olsen’s character Leigh, a recent widow, as she struggles to get through the days without her husband and, to some degree, reassess their relationship since it came to a premature end.

“There are so many stories about love, but the stories about death all feel so sappy to me or melodramatic,” Olsen says, “and I just feel like this handled grief in a palatable way where it can actually be a part of a conversation and be an interesting character study of someone going through an extreme trauma for the first time.”

Continue reading Elizabeth Olsen on ‘Making Peace’ With Grief in ‘Sorry for Your Loss’

‘Sorry For Your Loss’: Elizabeth Olsen Struggles With Grief in Facebook Watch’s New Serial – Toronto Studio

‘Sorry For Your Loss’: Elizabeth Olsen Struggles With Grief in Facebook Watch’s New Serial – Toronto Studio

As festivals around the world continue to come to terms with the rise of serial television and new viewing platforms, TIFF hosted a special premiere this year of the first two episodes of Sorry For Your Loss, a 10-episode, half-hour drama from Facebook Watch. Directed by James Ponsoldt, it stars Elizabeth Olsen as Leigh Shaw, a young widow struggling to get her life back on track in the wake of her husband’s unexpected death. Accompanied by series creator Kit Steinkellner and co-star Mamoudou Athie, who plays Leigh’s husband Matt, Ponsoldt and Olsen came to the Deadline studio to discuss the show and the issues it raises.

Steinkellner revealed that the inspiration for the show came from a troubling moment in her own life. “There’s a flashback scene in the pilot,” she said, “in which Lizzie’s character wakes up in the middle of the night. Her husband is nowhere to be found, and she thinks the worst thing possible has happened. And that is very much based on a night in my life, a few months into my marriage. Everything turned out to be OK—it was just a miscommunication—but it really haunted me and I couldn’t shake it. I just started thinking about who that woman was that could survive this impossible thing. And the more I start to think about her, the more I fell in love with her, and the more I started to think about the people in her life, the more I fell in love with them too. It just sort of burnt a hole in my gut and I knew I had to write it.”

For Olsen, when she read the script she saw it as a chance to do something genuinely meaningful. “I was going through a life change at that time,” she said, “not [because of a] death, but a big transition. [But] it felt like a loss, and it felt like I could relate to this woman in a totally different level. And the more I thought about it, the more it just seemed like there was a little hole to be filled, [when it comes to] talking authentically about what loss is—it’s something that’s inevitable, that we all have to experience, and we don’t really have a comfortable conversation around it.”

The next on board was James Ponsoldt, director of indie hits Smashed and The Spectacular Now. “Kit and Lizzie [Olsen] and Robin Schwartz, our producer, sent me this amazing script,” he recalled, “which at the time was called Widow, and I was just really deeply moved by it. I sat down with them, and we talked for hours and laughed a lot and cried a lot and talked about people that we loved that weren’t with us anymore—and we were off to the races from there.”