It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to play an historic country figure. Ask actor Elizabeth Olsen, who took on the role of Audrey Williams in the new Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light. Olsen researched underpinnings, walked in cowboy boots, carried off fringe and held her big cauliflower hairdo high while playing Williams’s first wife. “I loved how easily you could dislike Audrey or be her lawyer in a way and defend her,” she says.
In person, Olsen is Audrey’s polar opposite. Like her fashion designer twin sisters, Olsen is New York cool, speaking calmly and quietly about her starring role alongside Tom Hiddleston as Hank. Both actors sang all of the tracks you hear in the movie; however, Audrey’s voice wasn’t exactly easy on the ears. “Honestly, she’s not great—she’s really bad when you first listen to her,” Olsen says with a laugh. “You don’t find much out there that is positive toward her. Maybe people didn’t like her because she spoke her mind and she didn’t sit back, but she’s actually in a really difficult situation.”
Audrey’s marriage was rocky and marred by violence. Hank went on to become an iconic country singer, an alcoholic and an indiscreet womanizer. Olsen’s empathy for Audrey is ultimately what landed her the role, which many young talents were after, according to director Marc Abraham. “Audrey is a really tricky character to play,” he says. “She’s someone who doesn’t have that much talent, won’t let up on her husband and wants to be part of the fame, but she doesn’t want him to be the star—and she’s got a real temper.” Olsen’s main hurdle was making Audrey seem relatable. “Lizzie’s got steel,” Abraham gushes. “When you work with her, you bring your A-game.”
The post Elizabeth Olsen dishes on her latest role in I Saw the Light appeared first on FASHION Magazine.