03 October 2012 by

Elizabeth Olsen On Her Sisters' 'Classier' Style & New Film Liberal Arts: EXCLUSIVE

Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Olsen may have grown up in the shadow of her sisters, but she's fast making a name for herself in Hollywood - and if her latest role in Liberal Arts is anything to go by, a bright, shiny career lays ahead. The film is released THIS Friday (5th October) so Grazia Daily took the chance to meet the 23-year-old actress in London last week to discuss her new role - and her famous siblings, of course. As well as being impressed with how genuinely friendly and intelligent the actress is, we were pleasantly surprised at her willingness to open up about what she describes as Mary-Kate and Ashley's 'classier' style. Read on for the highlights...

On shopping in London...

This trip is my first time having a day off in London so I went to Notting Hill to shop. I don’t go shopping in New York because I've just bought a new apartment so I can’t justify buying clothes, but here I think, ‘when in London..!’ So I went to Sandro and Maje and Liberty for the first time. I got three shirts, which is actually a big spree for me. I can’t justify shopping because I'm like, ‘I got something like that for free, why would I spend money on it?’ I tend to buy exactly what’s already in my closet - I have an infinite amount of button-up shirts.

On designers lending her outfits...

If it’s for a nice event, I’ll look online at the fashion shows then my stylist will call in one dress. If I’m doing a press junket, the brand will send over different pieces for me to choose from and they usually let me keep a lot of the stuff. They’re very kind to me, particuarly Whistles. I love Whistles.

On her sisters' style...

Most of my clothes are from The Row and if I'm not wearing The Row, then it’s something that I saw in their closet. I’ll say ‘Can I borrow this?’ and they’ll be like, ‘Just take it.’ They have extensive, beautiful wardrobes. I’m always wondering, ‘God damn, how do they figure that looks so good?’ I can’t pull off some of the things they wear. They're classier and more interesting while I’m a pretty basic dresser. 

On having a collection, Elizabeth and James, named after her...

My sisters are actually really big on coining things that are from our family. Olsenboye, their JC Penney line, is our Norwegian name and so having Elizabeth and James didn't seem random. If I was going to design a line, which I'm not, I'd call it Mary-Rose. That's my grandmother's name and that’s why Mary-Kate has Mary as part of her name. It's a really cool name and I’ve never heard it before.

Elizabeth with Mary-Kate and Ashley, mother Jarnette and Trent Olsen in 2004

On why she wanted to star in Liberal Arts...

The story is sweet and funny and it has a great message. I thought it would be fun to play a character that was a little bit more normal than the last few that I’ve played. When I first read the script, it was a lot of fun to say the words and have a verbal battle with someone. If you’re going to do a movie that is more low key, it should have a good, kind message and it’s not like a slapstick romantic comedy but I laughed a lot when I watched it. It reminds you to accept where you are and that life is always going to be a process, instead of the constant need to feel where you were a couple of years ago or where you think you want to be. Just be ok with the uncertainty of everything.

On working with Josh Radnor...

He wrote, directed and starred in it so that was definitely something to adjust to but actually it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It just meant that he would be there to really specifically tell you all the different ideas he needed for his editing purposes.

On her favourite books...

I’m a big fan of Hemingway and I’m a big theatre kid so Eugene O’Neill is one of my favourite playwrights. I appreciate Shakespeare more now than I did five years ago, so I’m re-reading Shakespeare and re-visiting O’Neill and reading more short stories by Hemingway. I also really like Charles Bukowski’s poetry.

On Fifty Shades Of Grey...

I have never read it or Twilight. I have never read a single young adult novel. But I feel like I know a lot about Fifty Shades because a lot of people have told me about it. I can’t wait to see how they’re going to figure out the script because how do you make it appropriate enough so that those people they want to see it can see it legally?

On treading the boards...

I would absolutely like to take a theatre role.  It’s just when I could and what’s the right role to commit that much time to because it’s a huge commitment. My dream role would be Ophelia in Hamlet or Juliet. That would be a lot of fun to do before I get too old.

Liberal Arts Clip

For our favourite Elizabeth Olsen style moments, click through the gallery above


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