Olivia Wilde Dishes on Finding True Love & Life After Baby

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Photo: Trunk Archive

Olivia Wilde isn’t one to take herself too seriously. On Twitter, the very funny star of Drinking Buddies and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone describes herself simply as a World Champion Parallel Parker. It’s typical Olivia—unexpected, clever, and totally self-deprecating. Beyond her self-proclaimed driving prowess however, the 30-year old actress is turning heads as the brand ambassador for Revlon, star of February’s buzzed-about thriller Lazarus, and her latest role as new mom to 7-month-old son Otis with her fiancé, funnyman Jason Sudeikis.

What you may not know is that acting is just her part-time gig; Olivia is the co-founder of Conscious Commerce, which pairs brands with non-profits to raise money for good causes through retail. It’s a fitting move for the daughter of two well-respected DC-based journalists, 60 Minutes producer Leslie Cockburn and political reporter Andrew Cockburn, who she has credited for inspiring her to give back. But Olivia has a sense of humor about her do-gooder side, too, proclaiming that in order to focus more on her non-profit work she “recently made a decision to stop making bad movies.”

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When I interviewed Olivia recently, everyone wanted to speak to her—including Kate Upton, who I happily let hijack my interview. With Kate doing some investigative relationship reporting, and Olivia’s totally candid take on everything, this has to be one of my favorite interviews ever.

BB: I’m actually at a photo shoot right now and when I mention your name, every single person’s eyes lit up and they say, “I love her! She’s so funny and cool.” In fact, the model I’m working with, Kate Upton, wants to ask you some questions. Is that okay?

OW: Yes, of course!

KU: It’s so nice to meet you over the phone! So tell me, are you and Jason competitive about who’s funnier?

OW: (Laughs) No, I totally understand that he is funnier than me, and will always be funnier.

KU: I get really competitive with laughs. I always want people to laugh at my jokes, so I don’t think I could handle dating a comedian.

OW: That’s hilarious. I think maybe you should! Because you guys might be the funniest couple of all time, and it might be good for the world.

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KU: But it’s too much for me. My competitiveness would take over.

OW:  No, I don’t even compete—it’s beyond. But that’s a good question, hilarious.  [laughing].

KU: I’m sure you’re funnier actually, and he just stole the spotlight!

OW:  Exactly!

KU: Okay, I’ll hand you back to Bobbi.

Kate talking to Olivia on set at Bobbi’s house. 

BB: I’m back, thanks for being such a good sport.  Where are you, by the way?

OW: I’m in New York, in my apartment, chilling at home.

BB: Is baby Otis napping?

OW: He is actually. It’s amazing.

BB: How has your take on beauty changed since you’ve become a mom? What’s different?

OW: I feel more beautiful since I became a mother. I feel like my skin is better, I have a different attitude toward beauty. There’s a certain relaxation in becoming a mother. There seems to be an enormous sense of self-love—I can’t believe I created something so perfect and beautiful. And I look at him and he has the best parts of me and is better than I’ll ever be, and yet I give myself credit for creating him, so I love myself a little more and I think that shows. I’m a little more relaxed about how I look; I just don’t think the priorities remain the same. I really care less about what people think. And it’s just a wonderful thing that comes along with gaining perspective. That’s a really long-winded way of saying I feel more beautiful and more relaxed in terms of my beauty routine.

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BB: You have so many things on your plate and you are so high profile. What do you do to stay sane?

OW: I find that my work in philanthropy and activism has always been a really great anchor for my life. Even when I was a teenager going through the hormonal shit-storm of the teenage years, I found that all the opportunities to turn energy outward and give my time were really helpful for me emotionally. I still find that to be true. I try to split my time 50/50, because the movie business is so supportive of narcissistic attitudes and can foster that unhealthy sense of self. I find it very important to focus on what I‘m doing to help others. I founded a company called Conscious Commerce, which focuses on pairing brands with non-profits to try and raise money through retail for the non-profits. We do really fun projects all over the world, and that keeps me sane. In terms of a day-to-day routine, I think any sort of exercise is an opportunity to just be alone and meditate a little, so I try to do that as much as possible.

BB: How many days a week?

OW: I try to do four days a week, but that’s a good week, though. On average, maybe three—and I still feel good about that. I certainly feel way worse if I don’t do it at all.

BB: My son’s girlfriend was actually sitting next to you at SoulCycle when you were many months pregnant. How far into your pregnancy did you exercise?

OW: I did SoulCycle until I was eight and half months pregnant. I stopped once I was literally kicking myself in the belly.

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BB: The baby was probably kicking you to say, “Mom, stop! You gotta rest!”

OW: (laughs) Yeah, that might be why he has such a great sense of rhythm.


Olivia pregnant with baby Otis last year.

BB: I read something you once said about the importance of eating really good food. I think in fashion, beauty and Hollywood—there is so much focus about what not to eat and starving yourself and doing these ridiculous things. I would love to hear your words on the subject.

OW:I think food for me has always been an enormous comfort and a sense of adventure. For me, trying new food is a really exciting part of going to new places. I just see it as something that is a real gift to be able to enjoy, and I don’t believe in withholding and torturing myself. Of course, everything in moderation, but I definitely love to try new things. I feel so sad when people are gluten-free, corn-free, wheat-free, soy-free, everything-free. I’m like, “How do you go to a new country and explore?” I don’t know how that works. I don’t know, everyone has dietary restrictions based on health, but who am I to judge? I really personally find a lot of pleasure in cooking and eating.

BB: Have you ever had to deal with a weight problem or are you just blessed with an amazing metabolism?

OW: I have fluctuated so much in my life! From when I was a teenager and went to boarding school and gained 20 pounds, to being in my early 20s and somehow losing those twenty pounds and being at my thinnest without even trying and thinking, Well, this is crazy. I realize now that’s just your early 20s. Man, I have been called too chubby, too skinny. I really have felt horrible at times, and I’ve felt really unattractive at times. And yet, as I’ve gotten older I realize that it’s within my control to look in the mirror when I don’t fit into my jeans, have a healthier perspective and say, “Okay, I’m just going to take it easy on the pasta for a couple weeks.” I do have to keep it in mind; I gain weight pretty quickly.



Olivia Wilde’s newest Revlon campaign.

BB: Tell me about your new Revlon campaign. How was the shoot?

OW: These shoots are always fun because the Revlon team are genuinely nice people. I find that unlike other campaigns or other shoots in general, they don’t pressure me to be a good model, because I’m not a good model! I think it’s a really difficult thing to do and I really admire people who do it flawlessly and easily. They are really sweet about letting me be myself and making everything my own. The first Revlon shoot I ever did I was so embarrassed because I had the worst cramps. I had this terrible period—that’s so graphic, but you get it—and I felt like, “I can’t do this; I can’t take a photo right now.” I was panicking and thinking they would fire me on my first shoot. So I told them I was having horrible cramps and I would be out in a minute. The next thing I know, six members of the Revlon team, all women, come into my trailer and say, “Girl, no problem. Here is tea, here is ibuprofen, we’ve got this.” And I thought, “This is what is so awesome about working for a women’s brand.”

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BB: That’s a great message. Women do support other women. I think it happens more than people think.

OW: Absolutely.

BB: And how involved are you in the products? What are some of your favorites?

OW: Well, I use the products every day and they work really well for me, personally. I use their CC cream every single day because it’s got 30 SPF and because it’s just enough coverage and it’s sort of the one thing I feel like I need when leaving the house; it’s so easy and lightweight and the right tint for me. I use mascara, a little bit of eyeliner and concealer, and do my eyebrows. I genuinely love the way Revlon makes their products and one thing that I think really resonates with people—and certainly with me because I’m not a professional makeup artist—is how easy the products are to use. They seem to be designed for people who are busy, which I really appreciate. Everything is compact, easy to use, not a lot of tools, it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. I just think that it seems to be a brand that supports the idea that women are busy, but they still want to look and feel beautiful.

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BB: So it’s real life.

OW: Yeah, I think it is.

BB: And what is the difference between being on a campaign set versus shooting a movie? Not many people get to do both.

OW: It’s interesting because I think part of the reason it’s fun to shoot a movie is that it’s fun to be someone else all day, to really explore that and have fun with it and take real risks within that process—that’s really the thrill of acting. And then these campaigns, at least the Revlon ones, seem to be just about being yourself and feeling really beautiful and having a good time. I actually enjoy that opportunity to just be me. I think that’s the main difference. There’s no one saying to you, be different, be sexier or scarier or in more pain. I like the opportunity to just shoot a campaign that’s all about showing me in a certain light. In good lighting, much better lighting than usual!

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BB: We all love good lighting.

OW: We do! I’m like Joan Crawford on the set: “Bring in more lights!”

BB: You are so not like Joan Crawford, let me tell you. You’ve got many years! By the way, HD is not a girl’s friend, so be happy for your youth. I hope HD falls apart before I age any more. I don’t think it was invented by a woman, that’s for sure.

OW: Agreed!



Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis at LACMA’s 2014 gala in Los Angeles. Photo: Getty Images

BB: So I have to ask you about your fiancé Jason Sudeikis. He seems like such a cool, down to earth, funny guy, and you’ve called him the love of your life. What’s he really like?

OW: Oh, man. He is a wonderful, kind, Midwestern boy. He’s from Kansas. He’s got this wonderful family with two phenomenal sisters. I feel like boys with sisters are always good boyfriends. He is obviously hilarious, but so smart and thoughtful. He has taught me that the most important thing you can do in life is laugh stuff off. I really appreciate his perspective on things. I enjoy watching his star rise and continue to rise. I’m kind of in awe of his talent. I think that level of respect really makes love just such a wonderful feeling. We found each other sort of later in life. We met after having other relationships. Love usually comes to you once you’ve learned to love yourself. Not to sound overly corny, but you’ve got to fill up your own love cup and then let someone love your overflow. Don’t wait for someone to finish loving you up. It does sound so cheesy, but it’s really something I found to be true. With Jason, I was in a really good place when I met him and he was too, and we just have been really lucky to continue to grow together and now we have this awesome little family. He’s the best.

BB: That’s so cool. You guys sound so awesome, and next time someone asks me in an interview, “Who would you like to have come to your house for dinner, living or dead?” I know exactly who I’m going to invite. You’re a very cool girl and I would love to meet Jason. Good luck and congratulations on all your happiness.

OW: Thank you so much Bobbi, I can’t wait to meet you.

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