Olivia Wilde Says Focus On Her Looks In Hollywood ‘Grosses’ Her Out

olivia wilde not the hot girl

Olivia Wilde has been in the acting business for quite some time, but she’ll actually be stepping behind the camera for her next big screen venture Booksmart. In a recent interview, Olivia Wilde talked about how she’s been feeling icky while doing press for the gig, although it has nothing to do with directing itself and everything to do with how Hollywood has perceived her up until this point. She said:

It is remarkable that I am 35 years old and this is the first job I’ve ever had that wasn’t entirely dependent on and connected to my looks. It grosses me out to acknowledge it, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it.

If you look at Olivia Wilde’s resume prior to her directorial work in Booksmart, it includes such projects as Tron, Her, Cowboys & Aliens and other movies that pushed her into more romantic and sometimes even nude roles. Even in HBO’s recent series Vinyl, she played a model and the wife of Richie, again noted for her good looks.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being good-looking, but for a long time in the actress’ career she really believed her job as an actress was to be “everyone’s version of a perfect woman.” Of course, life -- and work -- is a whole lot messier than that.

During the same interview with the New York Times, Wilde also mentioned feeling exploited in meetings, noting,

Have I ever felt exploited? Yeah. Do I realize that I’d become numb to that? Yes. I had become numb to the fact that every meeting I went on — with men and women, by the way — I was going to be judged on my physical appearance. Because that’s what actors deal with, and man, it’s exhausting.

Now the actress is growing older, she believes the parts she is being offered are more sophisticated and getting to work behind the camera has seemingly been more rewarding than playing a part in someone else’s story. Olivia Wilde went on to reflect that "it only gets more interesting when you get too old to play dumb."

Although she says she doesn’t regret roles like her gig on The O.C., which really helped to jumpstart her career, Booksmart is Olivia Wilde’s story. The movie has already earned some praise for its coming-of-age subject matter (and shout out to somebody finally putting Kaitlyn Dever in the spotlight), but if you ask Olivia Wilde, she’s simply proud of how Booksmart helped push her past the “superficiality” of her earlier work and into something more fulfilling:

I was there only because of my brain and my heart. And the sense of fulfillment that comes from that is really massive. It’s a profound shift for me.

We’ll have to see how Booksmart fares in the fickle world of moviegoing, but with any luck we’ll continue seeing more from Olivia Wilde both behind and in front of the camera. In the meantime, Booksmart opens on May 24, 2019. Take a look at other upcoming releases with our full movies schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.