Elizabeth Olsen Became The MCU’s Scarlet Witch Because of Star Wars

Elizabeth Olsen might have started out in independent films, but it was ultimately her love of Star Wars that led her to sign up for blockbusters.

Elizabeth Olsen’s love of Star Wars led to her becoming the MCU’s Scarlet Witch. Prior to joining the MCU, Olsen made a name for herself by appearing in indie films like Martha Macy May Marlene and Oldboy. In 2014, she made the jump to blockbusters with Godzilla, and at the same time, she boarded the biggest franchise in the world by playing Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, in the post-credits scene for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Since then, Olsen has starred in four additional MCU movies and risen up the ranks as one of the franchise’s most prominent characters.

Just last weekend, Olsen moved from a supporting player in the MCU to a leading one with WandaVision, the first Marvel series made for Disney+. The show finds Wanda in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame living a peaceful, sitcom-inspired life with her love Vision (Paul Bettany). However, audiences know nothing is ever easy for Wanda, and not everything is as it seems within the idyllic town of Westview. Critics and fans have praised Olsen’s performance in WandaVision as she straddles the line between traumatized hero and perfectly composed housewife.

Amid WandaVision’s premiere, Olsen has made the rounds on the interview circuit. While speaking to Collider about the series, Olsen opened up about the trajectory of her career and how she ultimately transitioned into blockbusters. As she says, it came down to her childhood love of Star Wars and her desire to step away from playing “really disturbed women in independent films.” Olsen said:

“It was actually a funny decision I had put out in the world. I talked to my agent, my manager who are like my other mothers. I just love them so much. And I told them, ‘I want to be considered for the projects that I grew up …’ - like, as a kid, looking at Star Wars and I was obsessed with Star Wars. You couldn’t peel me away from Star Wars as a child. And so I was trying to figure out, how do I start putting that out there because I feel like all I’m getting are these really disturbed women in independent films. [Laughs] [Now] it’s just a disturbed woman in a big franchise! They said take meetings with the people who run these companies and so I literally did. I met with Kevin [Feige] and a couple other people that were working there at the time. And then I met with the people who were running Legendary at the time. And there were a few others in different places.”

Olsen is hardly the only person within the MCU to express a deep, formative love for Star Wars. Recently, Marvel boss Kevin Feige confessed Star Wars is almost always on his mind, which bodes well for his upcoming film set within that franchise. Plenty of Marvel actors have slipped between that and Star Wars in the past, like Taika Waititi and even Bettany himself. The Disney connection between the two likely helps, and there’s a chance Olsen could find herself in Star Wars in the future if she wished to live out her childhood dream.

For the time being, though, Olsen has her hands full with the MCU. Beyond WandaVision, Olsen will appear in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is in production right now. Where she will end up after that remains to be seen, but fans are expecting Scarlet Witch to stick around. Phase 4 of the MCU is finally giving Wanda the story she’s always deserved, and Olsen has expressed her excitement for it more than once. Truthfully, this means fans have another reason to be grateful for Star Wars, as it helped bring Olsen into the MCU. That’s a huge win for everyone involved.