Nepotism is well and alive in Hollywood. Depending on who you ask, this can be a perfectly OK thing or a super annoying one. From actors and models to musicians and influencers, it's hard to deny the entertainment industry favors people who already have ins through familial ties — and few celebs would know more about this culture than WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen. As the younger sister of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Olsen was literally born into the type of visibility and success that many young entertainers dream of. So the reason Elizabeth Olsen almost changed her last name might surprise you.
While having relatives in the entertainment industry is one thing, sharing the exact same last name as your wildly famous twin siblings is another. When Olsen was a child, she recognized nepotism was an issue in the industry, and she wanted nothing to do with it. In an April interview with Glamour UK, the 32-year-old actor admitted that back in 1999, as she witnessed her sisters take film and TV by storm, she started wondering if she should drop the Olsen surname and just go by Elizabeth Chase (her middle name) instead.
“I was 10 [years old] and I was curious about auditioning… But during that time, I thought, ‘I don’t want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley],’ for some reason,” she told journalist Emily Maddick. “I guess I understood what nepotism was inherently like as a 10-year-old. I didn’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.”
Olsen noted that she was so young at the time, and she’s not entirely sure how much she “processed” — but she suspects insecurities were to blame for her belief that she had to “earn” every aspect of her potential career success.
I totally see where Olsen is coming from. No matter what your passion is, no entertainer wants to be labeled as talentless or undeserving of their achievements because of connections they didn’t ask for. But with numerous awards under her belt and a titular role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the 32-year-old has given plenty of performances that prove she’s got raw talent — and 10-year-old Lizzie would be so proud!