Elizabeth Olsen almost went by the name Elizabeth Chase—and the reason had to do with her very famous older sisters.
The WandaVision star recently told Glamour UK that she considered kicking off her acting career for real when she was 10 years old, which was right about the time twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were hitting their acting peak with movies like Passport to Paris and Our Lips Are Sealed. The classics.
While she “realized very quickly” that auditioning took too much time away from sports, dance, and other extracurriculars at school, the younger Olsen sibling thought long and hard about changing her name. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley],’ for some reason,” she told the magazine. “I guess I understood what nepotism was like inherently as a 10-year-old. I don’t know if I knew the word, but there is some sort of association of not earning something that I think bothered me at a very young age.”
“It had to do with my own insecurities, but I was 10,” Olsen continued. “So I don’t know how much I processed, but I did think, ‘I’m going to be Elizabeth Chase when I become an actress.’” Chase is Olsen’s middle name.
Ultimately, Elizabeth Olsen embraced her name when she truly started her acting career in 2011 with the horror film Silent House and critical darling Martha Marcy May Marlene. Clearly, she got over those early hangups and even went to her sisters for some sage advice. One specific lesson they taught Olsen that still sticks with her? “‘No’ is a full sentence.”
“The word ‘No’ specifically was something that I remember my sisters isolating and it becoming really empowering,” the Marvel star said. “For women, it’s a really empowering word. People say ‘Just say no to drugs,’ but truly, you can just say no whenever the hell you want! It’s really a powerful thing.”
She continued, “I always felt like I could say ‘No’ in any work situation — if someone was making me feel uncomfortable—and I just feel like that’s what we need. We don’t have to follow suit if it doesn’t feel right. We need to be listening to our gut. There was a time where women were competing with one another and now we’re at a time where women are holding each other up.”