Elizabeth Olsen On The Unexpected Challenges of ‘WandaVision’


In a year of so much weirdness and uncertainty, “WandaVision” at first seemed to offer a nostalgic antidote, with its tidy suburban setting and vintage black-and-white aesthetic. That lasted through all two episodes, before the writers blew a colorful hole through the static wall surrounding the fictional town of Westview, NJ, and through audiences.and its critics) early expectations.

The series featuring Elizabeth Olsen’s clever mix of classic sitcom traditions and the superhero showdown has made it a hit, even for those who aren’t deeply versed in Marvel trivia. It was also a hit among the Emmy voters: On Tuesday, the series received 23 nominations, amongst them nods to Olsen for her role as the superhero hiding alongside Olsen, the Avengers’ Scarlet Witch. (Olsen’s male counterpart, Paul Bettany, who plays Vision, her android husband, was also nominated for best limited series show.)

“WandaVision” is over, but Olsen, who earned her first Emmy nomination for her role, says her character must face a reckoning of taking an entire town hostage to live out her suburban fantasy – most likely in the upcoming movie “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” “I think there’s a huge sense of guilt,” he said. A recent oral history of the Rolling Stone series.

A few hours after her nomination was announced, Olsen spoke about why she thinks the show has particularly resonated during the pandemic, the fact that the show has become a pop-culture phenomenon abroad, and whether Scarlet Witch is Marvel’s strongest Avenger. These are edited excerpts from the speech.

Congratulations on your first Emmy nomination. Where were you when you found out?

I was emptying my dishwasher.

Who was the first person you spoke to?

I haven’t told anyone yet! I came out of a dialect coaching class and started getting these calls.

What excites you most about the ceremony?

I had no plans to be a candidate! I’ve never been to one of these shows so it’s all new to me.

Why, of all the comic book predecessors, should America be in 2021? Being fascinated by the story of someone fleeing to classic TV to seek refuge from trauma?

When we started telling the story of a woman creating a balloon and wanting to keep her family in it, we didn’t know it would be a pandemic. And we are all in our own bubble with Covid, dealing with this fear of the outside. At the same time, American sitcoms have been our comfort zone for decades, and the show talked about these two different elements happening at the same time.

Sometimes you just never know when something will work, especially if it’s a high-concept show. But that just put people at ease. The weekly view was a bit of a scary choice, but it worked out in the end because it paid homage to the way we used to watch television and its ritual.

It seems that the right amount of foreknowledge to enjoy “WandaVision” is worth a super funny fan or almost nothing. Why do you think the show resonated with viewers who couldn’t imagine watching a superhero drama?

I don’t know – maybe it’s because of the discovery; You want to watch the next thing that will happen. Maybe it’s humor or nostalgia from episode to episode through sitcoms and styles. It’s kind of like a memory strip to the TV while dealing with this woman’s trauma. I am not sure. I was on a remote job and wasn’t in the United States when all this was unfolding, so I didn’t experience the effect it had. So I’m still surprised at my reaction, in a really nice way.

Wanda can be seen as either a hero or a villain, and often both. What was it like balancing Wanda’s caring, motherly side with her selfish desire to have the family she was denied, no matter the cost to others?

I hope I approach every character like that. I really like to play not only anti-heroes, but also people whose intentions you want to question and root for. Playing with this line is the most exciting part of my job and I hope it opens people with such strong opinions to different perspectives. We are all multifaceted people and not just one dimensional. I love this even in the comics, you don’t know if Wanda is going to be the hero or the villain. That’s what I love most about him.

You’ve been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over seven years. What’s the biggest surprise they’ve given you in all this time?

Making “WandaVision”. It was a big surprise to be pushed so hard by a Marvel sitcom. So they’re technically challenging for so many reasons, but this one was challenging in every way. Doing this show really awakened my body to all the different parts of my training as an actor and made me feel like I could use many tools that other projects didn’t. And I just loved it.

Please break the record: Scarlet Witch is the strongest Avenger?

I think so. I have to believe this. I think the only person who can hurt him is himself.


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