EXCLUSIVE: Why Elizabeth Olsen trained with an Iraq War veteran for Wind River
Anyone with older siblings knows how hard it can be, growing up, to step out of their shadow. When your older siblings are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen — perhaps the most iconic child stars of their generation—it just doesn’t seem possible.
Big wonder then, that Elizabeth Olsen — or Lizzy as she likes to be called — went from playing the part of ‘Girl in a Car’ in the Olsen twins movie How the West Was Fun to being one of the best young actors in independent film — not to mention a gosh-darn Avenger.
Currently, Olsen is balancing those two scales — prepping to film Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 and promoting her two hugely-acclaimed indies both out this summer — Ingrid Goes West and Wind River.
“It’s one of my favorite positions I’ve been in in a while. It feels good. It’s a good kind of busy. I feel really lucky to have had these two movies. They’re so different but both coming out at the same time, and in their own unique way people enjoy them, so that’s been really rewarding.”
Wind River is the third in Taylor Sheridan’s Frontier Trilogy—following Sicario and Hell or High Water, both of which were nominated for Oscars, the latter for Best Picture. Olsen plays Jane Banner, a rookie FBI agent called in to investigate a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation, a US territory established by the Eastern Shoshone Native American tribe in 1868.
To prepare for the role, Olsen spent months training with ex-law enforcement officers and ex-soldiers. Why? “My insecurity probably made me feel like I needed to do that,” Olsen tells me.
“I’ve watched movies before where people who are using a weapon and are supposed to look like they know what they’re doing don’t look like they know what they’re doing.
It’s all you can think about. I just didn’t want to be a distracting, really. It was just me being insecure and nervous and challenged by the job itself.” Her over-preparation ended up being an integral part in the development of her role.