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Elizabeth Olsen Says She Didn't Always Want to Be "Associated" With Her Sisters

Christopher Luu
·2 min read
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While she's a bona fide star now, Elizabeth Olsen explained that being an actor wasn't always the plan and that while she was growing up, she actually made a conscious decision to distance herself from the family business. In an interview with Glamour UK, Olsen said that she didn't want to be "associated" with her sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley when they were child stars.

Elizabeth said that when she was just starting out in the industry, she was turned off by how much it took her away from other parts of her life as a 10-year-old, including school and all the things associated with just being a kid.

"I was 10 and I was curious about auditioning," she said. "And I realized very quickly it wasn't for me because I was missing my sports teams, my dance class and all the extracurricular activities at school. But during that time, I thought, 'I don't want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley],' for some reason."

Mary-Kate Olsen Elizabeth Olsen Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen Elizabeth Olsen Ashley Olsen

Donato Sardella / Contributor

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Elizabeth even considered dropping her last name when she got more serious about acting, just to add one more layer of distance between her and her very famous siblings.

"I guess I understood what nepotism was like inherently as a 10-year-old," she added. "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. 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.'"

RELATED: Mary-Kate and Ashley Bullied Sister Elizabeth Olsen in a 1994 Song

Even with that in her mind, Elizabeth made her film debut in one of her sisters' flicks, 1994's How the West Was Fun. She went by Lizzie Olsen, not Elizabeth Chase, and played a girl in a car. It would be until 2011's Silent House and Martha Marcy May Marlene that she'd make it big as Elizabeth Olsen.

That year, she told Nylon that she had considered reaching out to her sisters for help, but that she went through with it, since she managed to snag a manager and agent all on her own.

"I went through a phase when I first got into college where I was thinking if I don't get a manager or agent, I'll ask the girls [Mary-Kate and Ashley] to help me," she said. "I was okay with that idea, but I never needed it."