Elizabeth Olsen used to be one of those celebrities without any social media presence. She didn’t have Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Then she got Instagram last year, and she recently made it public. Why the change? Because she got the role of Taylor Sloane in Ingrid Goes West, an indie film where Olsen’s character is a “social media influencer” as a real job. Like, Olsen’s character Instagrams for a living. She Instagrams her perfect, slightly lux-hipster Cool Girl life in California. So, obviously, a lot of Olsen’s promotion for this film is about social media and what she thinks of it. Mostly, she worries that the food she’s photographing doesn’t look all that appetizing.
She’s bad at Instagramming: “I’m bad at it. I’m bad at the lighting. I’m bad at the framing. I’m bad at the editing. When I look at my food, it looks pretty. When I look at it on a phone, it looks not pretty.”
Because of Marvel commitments, she’s had to turn down a bunch of indie films: “There have been things more in line with the career arc I’d like to create that I had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts. You want to create a personal canon.”
Why she finally made her IG public: “I decided to join because I realized I was only taking something away from myself. It’s so funny that people like to pretend that they’re maybe or maybe not getting paid to post something. Financially, it’s a brilliant opportunity. Like, I’d really love to be a brand ambassador. I’d love to do a campaign. I think sometimes working with brands or different cosmetic companies — that can help people recognize your face and then they go see your movies. I was only hurting my opportunities by not participating.”
She tried being old-school: While some young Oscar winners like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone have held out on joining the platform, it has increasingly become commonplace for even serious actor types — Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, Shailene Woodley — to open up on social media. Before, Olsen says, she was “being old-school about it” — something she learned from her sisters, who she acknowledges are “notoriously private people.” But even they supported her launching an Instagram account. And besides, she’s not good at being “super mysterious.” She’s too chatty for that.
She loves stalking other people’s IGs: “There are so many times I’ve seen a picture and thought, ‘Oh, God, how do they make those flower arrangements look so great all the time?’ Or: ‘How expensive are those chairs I’m looking at on Pinterest? Did they find them at some place I’ve never heard of? How do you have that kind of eye?’”
I think it’s interesting that this really is the new model for actresses and celebrities. Their personal brand as a celebrity is tied to how well they can do social media, and their social media is the reason they’re a celebrity (like a snake eating its tail). Personally, I like it when a celebrity isn’t so precious about participating in social media, but of course there are people who are too engaged or weird about it. I had a good creep on Olsen’s Instagram and she seems to be doing okay – there’s nothing really newsworthy there, but she’s not just posting endless selfies either. Plus, I think it’s interesting that she admits this: “Financially, it’s a brilliant opportunity. Like, I’d really love to be a brand ambassador. I’d love to do a campaign. I think sometimes working with brands or different cosmetic companies.” Usually, actresses don’t say that out loud.
Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.