Elizabeth Olsen stars in the new issue of Marie Claire. Tesh It's not always easy being known as the little sister to pint-sized celebrities Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Just ask Elizabeth Olsen, who describes herself as "the curvy one of the family," and has had to live in the shadow of the actresses-turned-designers for all of her 22 years.
"It's very clear that I'm the younger sister," she reveals in a new interview with Marie Claire. "My whole life they've been like women, while I've been trying to be a woman but still a kid."
As a student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts living in the dorms, she recalls being treated oddly because of it. "That's the only time in my life I ever felt different for having sisters in the public eye," she admits. "People would knock on my door and be like, 'I heard there was a party here,' just because they knew that I lived in that room. It was so weird."
But perhaps her fear of receiving special treatment because of Mary-Kate and Ashley ended up driving Elizabeth to study her craft even more, which undoubtedly made her a better actress. The results are seen in independent movies "Martha Marci May Marlene," which is in limited release now, and in March's "Silent House." In the former, the L.A. native gives a critically-acclaimed portrayal of a young woman adjusting to life after fleeing a cult. Some are even suggesting Elizabeth's on the short list for a Best Actress Oscar. "I've always had a complex about being taken seriously," she says. "I never wanted anyone to think that I would use my family name to get me anywhere."
Not that the relatives aren't close. Elizabeth will spend the upcoming Christmas back in L.A. with her clan -- probably in the kitchen with her designer-clad siblings. "My sisters and I do most of the cooking because we love it. We jazz up the holidays with mashed cauliflower," Elizabeth says, adding, "It's so delicious; it's Mary-Kate's signature."
Read more about Elizabeth Olsen in the new issue of Marie Claire.
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Photos: 2011 American Music Awards
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