Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars
Olsen, 22, admits she still gets a little "weirded out" when encountering evidence of her newly minted fame in unexpected places. "I'll be reading The New York Times online, and I'll see that little ad with my face on it," says the actress of promo materials for her role in the drama Martha Marcy May Marlene. Olsen better get used to the exposure. Since Martha debuted at Sundance to great buzz, the younger sibling of multimillionaire entrepreneurs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen has spent the past year balancing newly opened industry doors with a commitment to academia as an NYU senior. Sean Durkin's indie, which opened wide Oct. 21, has garnered rave reviews and three Gotham Award nominations, including one for Olsen. While admitting that the hoopla feels "very unrealistic," Olsen says she has been moved by personal stories that Martha has evoked among audiences. "We did a national press tour, and at least a few people in each city told me, 'I was in a cult,' or, 'My sister was in a cult,' " says Olsen, who next appears in the horror film Silent House. "I never made Martha thinking we were making a statement about cults. But for someone to say, 'You really depicted what it feels like to lose your voice,' that's really rewarding."