The Sundance Festival has made stars out of several of our big-ticket actors, and this year is no exception. The breakout star this year is “Martha Marcy May Marlene” actress Elizabeth Olsen.
Olsen, younger sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, stars in the film as a young woman who reconnects with her sister after running away from a cult she was a member of for two years. Due to those years in the cult, she has a tough time readjusting to regular life, becoming paranoid and confused by regular social mores and the ideals taught to her by the cult leader (John Hawkes).
Olsen’s performance in the film is one of the many reasons the Sean Durkin film was picked up by Fox Searchlight. Her performance also garnered opportunities for future movie roles; she has now signed onto “Red Lights“, a thriller directed by Rodrigo Cortes (“Buried”) and starring Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy and Robert DeNiro. Olsen is also starring in another Sundance premiere, “Silent House”.
In a world where the number of pop-tart starlets seems to outnumber quiet, subdued, admittedly normal-acting actresses, it is highly refreshing to see that Olsen has her own mind. Currently studying psychology at New York University, Olsen told The Hollywood Reporter that she learned from her sisters that an actress can be in films without getting caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle.