Elizabeth Olsen holding her own in Avengers

By Neala Johnson

Elizabeth Olsen is still adjusting to her superhero status. She talks to Neala Johnson.

Call her a superhero, call her kick-ass, call her an Avenger. Just don't call Elizabeth Olsen one of the guys.

"I have a problem with that saying," says the 27-year-old known as Lizzie. "To me, if you're 'one of the guys', from a male's perspective, that means you're normal and can hang out.

"It's like, well no, she's a woman who can match you, is what she is!"

Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).
Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).

Upon joining Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth's Thor and the rest of Marvel's A-team in last year's Avengers: Age Of Ultron as the young Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Olsen became just the second female in the gang - after Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.

"Scarlett and I, we're not intimidated by masculine energy in masses," Olsen continues.

"It's not because we're one of the guys, it's because we're women who are happy to hold their own in a group of men. It's a good thing you think I'm easy to hang out with, but that doesn't mean I'm one of the guys... I'm a female!"

Indeed, given the well-documented lack of women in the superhero movie sphere overall, the last thing anyone needs is for Olsen and Scarlet Witch to blend into the pack.

In her latest Marvel Cinematic Universe outing, Captain America: Civil War, Wanda is an Avenger in training. As the movie opens, she's involved in a tragic accident that leads the US government to put limits on our heroes.

This causes a split in the Avengers - heroes falling into factions behind either the pro-freedom Captain America (Chris Evans) or the pro-limitations Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Elizabeth Olsen appears in a scene from Captain America: Civil War. Photo / AP
Elizabeth Olsen appears in a scene from Captain America: Civil War. Photo / AP

Wanda, who is put into lockdown after the incident, falls firmly into Team Cap - partly because her spectacular blow-up after her brother's death in Ultron makes her the only Avenger other Avengers are afraid of.

That's a beat Olsen loves playing.

"I think the reason Stark has her locked up is because he's terrified of her. I mean, her powers are limitless, which is a hard thing to write and to play. The thing that limits her is her own mind, there's always some inner conflict she has to go through ...

"It's exciting to think about how they [Marvel's writers and directors] can use that later, 'cos it makes her someone who will always possibly crack or will take control. I don't know what they're gonna do!" (Off screen, the Olsen and Downey relationship is inverted: "When I just see him in the hallway I get nervous!")

Though she made her name with the acclaimed 2011 drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, Olsen is no indie elitist - she never sneered at superhero movies.

"I had such a nostalgia for Batman growing up - the Tim Burton series. Batman Begins I loved as a kid. So I don't judge that. Then Christopher Nolan made very smart Batman movies. Then when I saw Iron Man, it was witty and clever.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron starring Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch.
Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron starring Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch.

"So I never thought of it as something mindless. Working on them, especially as I get to be a part of the larger system, it's very creatively fulfilling in totally different ways. And the community is magical."

And though her witchy twitching has thus far involved more choreography than stunts, she's expecting she'll get to do "more wire stuff" as Wanda grows as an Avenger.

She couldn't have a better role model than Hollywood's No1 lady of action, Johansson.

"I'm jealous Scarlett gets to do so much of that," Olsen laughs. "Scarlett is a tough, tough, cool chick. It was fun on Civil War 'cos I got to work with her more and get to know her a little better. She's smart and I love her career - she has such a great system worked out."

The younger sister of Full House twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made her screen debut in one of their telemovie adventures in 1994.

Though she kept her head down making Ultron - "I felt not confident enough to not be an outsider" - by the time she stepped on to Captain America: Civil War, Olsen, like Wanda, had a much better grasp of her powers.

"It's so different now. That has something to do with my own growth as a person, being more confident the longer you do it and figuring out my own voice and opinions. It makes it all the more fun when you feel like what you have to say matters."

- news.com.au

- TimeOut

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