Entering the world of Marvel can be a daunting task even for the most experienced of actors — unless, of course, you have Elizabeth Olsen in a dirty Prius leading you every step of the way.
While introducing Olsen as an honoree at Variety‘s Power of Women in event in Los Angeles, presented by Lifetime, on Wednesday night, “WandaVision” co-star Kathryn Hahn shared how meaningful (and comical) Olsen’s guidance has been to her.
“She was my intro into this Marvel family, and she very generously walked me through blasts and wires and stunts and finding truth on an X on a green screen — I was used to talking to other people,” Hahn joked at the beginning of her speech. “She was so patient with all of my questions. Who is Ultron? What is that glove with all the gems on it?”
“When it was just the two of us working on the finale, our base camp had two cars,” she added. “It was my dirty minivan and her dirty Prius, and she was like, ‘This is not “The Avengers,”‘ which I think really delighted her. She was very patient as it took me like a solid 40 minutes to ’10-1’ … which in the movie business, is to urinate. I had a lot of costume on, and a very small bladder.”
She also told stories about the gifts that she and Olsen exchanged to keep each other amused during the early days of the pandemic: a store-bought loaf of bread from Hahn, and from Olsen, worms to use for composting and a recording of an original song that was “as perfectly strange and hilarious and singular as [Hahn] ever dreamed of it being.”
But beyond the laughs they’ve shared, Hahn says that what truly strikes her about Olsen is her “grace.”
“I was blown away by the way this woman was able to self regulate with such focus and clarity and connectedness to herself for months and months and months,” she explained. “Anchored in composure every day under such pressure. I never saw it slip.”
“A friend recently told me this acronym called P.A.U.S.E.: Postpone Action Unless Serenity Emerges. And Lizzie is the embodiment of that,” Hahn continued. “She will not press send. She will not rush to judge. She weighs and holds both sides. She doesn’t talk shit. She listens. She just holds steady in her own space.”
About Olsen’s work with Stuart House, a program of the Rape Treatment Center that Olsen later spoke to the audience about, Hahn said, “This has been — understatement of understatements — a terrifying year for women in this country. And I see that millions of young humans connect with the authenticity in Elizabeth Olsen. It really feels hopeful to me that this is a woman they look up to, this woman who uses her powers for good. She will no doubt continue to do so in her own quiet, humble, honest way. And this private, sacred work that I have just heard about that Elizabeth Olsen has been doing on behalf of these organizations is so powerful, and I am so proud that she is being recognized.”
“To so many of us this Scarlet Witch has simply been Lizzie all along,” Hahn concluded. “This decent and kind human, doing what is right for one person at a time.”