Olivia Wilde: What To Watch If You Like The Actor And Director

olivia wilde protecting garrett hedlund in tron: legacy
(Image credit: Disney)

Olivia Wilde has made quite the name for herself since her breakout role as night club manager Alex Kelly on Season 2 of The O.C. That mid-’00s recurring role helped launch Wilde’s career on the small and big screen, where the actress has racked up credits in dozens of well-known movies and television shows, co-starred opposite beloved stars such as Hugh Laurie, Harrison Ford, Oscar Isaac, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and many more. 

In fact, Wilde will be reuniting with Pine in her return to movie theaters in late September, when her second directorial effort, Don’t Worry Darling, makes its debut as part of the 2022 new movie releases. With the actor and director now firmly ensconced both in front of and behind the camera, it seemed like a good time to give those who love watching Wilde’s work a handy list of the movies and series they should check out when they want to see the star in action. Now, let’s get to what you should watch if you like Olivia Wilde!

13 and kutner in house

(Image credit: Fox)

House (Peacock)

The misanthropic Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) leads a team of medical diagnosticians at a teaching hospital in New Jersey, where he frequently clashes with them, his bosses, and sometimes his patients because of his unconventional methods and rude attitude. 

Olivia Wilde joined the House cast in Season 2 as a new member of the eponymous doctor’s team, Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley, and it would be fairly accurate to say that this is the part that catapulted Wilde to stardom. Her Thirteen, as the character was most widely known, was rather mysterious and extremely slow to reveal any personal details about herself, but was also unfailingly compassionate and brave (or, sometimes, reckless) in the face of her own serious illness. This is definitely a great place to start to get an early look at what Wilde is capable of on screen.

Stream House on Peacock.
Buy House on Amazon.

olivia wilde in drinking buddies

(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

Drinking Buddies (Hulu)

Luke (Jake Johnson) and Kate (Olivia Wilde) are co-workers and best buddies who work at a small Chicago brewery and happen to have great chemistry that could easily turn into something besides friendship, except they are both seeing other people.

It would be fair to say that Olivia Wilde has honed a cool chick vibe over the course of her career (mostly fueled by playing a number of characters who are really good at what they do and totally unapologetic about it), and Drinking Buddies has certainly added to that allure. Wilde does a great job playing someone whose professional life is great, but has a bit of turmoil when it comes to dealing with her feelings for her friend, as well as handling his feelings for her.

Stream Drinking Buddies on Hulu.
Rent/Buy Drinking Buddies on Amazon.

olivia wilde in rush

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Rush (Netflix)

Formula One race car drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) begin a years-long rivalry in 1970, which eventually spurs each man to compete at higher and higher levels amid a number of personal difficulties, both large and small. 

Rush is a biographical drama that covers the real-life feud between Hunt and Lauda, which features Olivia Wilde in a relatively small part as Hunt’s wife, model Suzy Miller. While Wilde is not on screen for long, it doesn’t take long for her to make Suzy much more than a fashionable side character, as we can see clearly how tough and uncompromising she was when dealing with her husband once professional setbacks began to sour their relationship.

Stream Rush on Netflix.
Rent/buy Rush on Amazon.

olivia wilde in tron: legacy

(Image credit: Disney)

Tron: Legacy (Disney+)

Decades after video game developer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) goes missing, his son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund) ends up lost in the same virtual reality that his father created and was trapped in all of those years ago.

Tron: Legacy saw the cult hit, Tron, finally get the sequel fans were hoping for after almost 30 years. The movie is a thrilling addition to the lore, and that’s thanks in a large part to Olivia Wilde’s badass role as the virtual reality warrior Quorra, who helps Sam and Kevin fight for survival in the dangerous world.

Stream Tron: Legacy on Disney+.
Rent/Buy Tron: Legacy on Amazon.

olivia wilde in the o.c.

(Image credit: Fox)

The O.C. (Hulu)

At risk teen Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie) finds a saving grace in his public defender, Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher), who takes him home to live with his family in his wealthy Orange County, California neighborhood, where Ryan ends up embroiled in the complicated relationships there.

There’s nothing quite like a teen soap opera, and The O.C. started out very strong on Fox in 2003. The first season made stars out of the young and mostly unknown cast members, and it shows just how strong of a performer Olivia Wilde is that her smart, tough, and independent Alex Kelly was able to become a standout when she debuted in Season 2. If you want to see the roots of Wilde’s cool girl charm, head here.

Stream The O.C. on Hulu.
Buy The O.C. on Amazon.

olivia wilde and jake lacy in love the coopers

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Love The Coopers (Rental)

The dysfunctional Cooper family, headed up by Charlotte (Diane Keaton) and Sam (John Goodman) reunite for Christmas as they deal with a number of wacky situations and personal troubles.

Love the Coopers is one of those family dramedies that focuses on a number of characters, most of whom are played by beloved actors like Keaton, Goodman, and others like Ed Helms, Marisa Tomei, and Amanda Seyfried, among others. But, as usual, Olivia Wilde stands out as beleaguered Cooper daughter Eleanor, who’s in a relationship with a married man and so desperate to arrive home with a significant other that she enlists the help of a soldier (Jake Lacy) she just met in the airport to pose as her fake boyfriend.

Rent/Buy Love the Coopers on Amazon.

booksmart cast

(Image credit: Annapurna Pictures)

Booksmart (Hulu)

When teens Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) realize that keeping their noses to the grindstone to achieve academically has unnecessarily put them behind when it comes to their social lives, they decide to spend the last night before graduating from high school to catch up on all the wild fun they missed, leading to a chaotic adventure.

Olivia Wilde came out strong with her feature length directorial debut, Booksmart, which premiered in May 2019. The movie was praised by critics and audience goers alike for its ensemble cast, smart storytelling, and heart, which still managed to provide lots of laughs. Absolutely a must-watch for anyone interested in Wilde’s work, it’s already made its way into the pantheon of epic teen movies.

Stream Booksmart on Hulu.
Rent/Buy Booksmart on Amazon.

olivia wilde in vinyl

(Image credit: HBO)

Vinyl (Digital Purchase)

American Century Records founder and president Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), tries to keep his company afloat in the 1970s as the love for rock and roll gives way to punk, rap, and disco, as his own commitment to his job is reignited because of a major event that just might be his ultimate downfall.

As Richie’s wife, Devon, Olivia Wilde once again proves that she excels at playing tough, capable women who refuse to back down from challenges and won’t succumb to acting as a victim when others’ poor decision-making threatens to mar her future.

Buy Vinyl on Amazon.

bojack and charlotte in bojack horseman

(Image credit: Netflix)

BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

After losing his once successful sitcom to a sudden cancellation, ‘90s TV star (and anthropomorphic horse) BoJack Horseman attempts to regain his pop culture cred by releasing an autobiography, all while dealing with addiction and depression.

Netflix’s BoJack Horseman dealt with a lot of serious issues for an animated show, even one made for adults, but Olivia Wilde’s Charlotte Carson (an anthropomorphic deer) was a good and wise friend to the titular character whenever possible, despite her realization that she couldn’t get too caught up in BoJack’s usually self-destructive life.

Stream BoJack Horseman on Netflix.

olivia wilde in richard jewell

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Richard Jewell (Rental)

This drama follows the real events surrounding the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympics, which saw security guard Richard Jewell find the device, alert authorities, and then be wrongly accused of the bombing himself.

Olivia Wilde took on the role of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter, Kathy Scruggs, who wrote the article which revealed that Jewell was under suspicion for the bombing by the FBI. Her part is the one aspect of the film that was seen as controversial upon its release, but Wilde still does a remarkable job as a woman who’s trying to stay ahead of what might be the biggest story of her career.

Rent/buy Richard Jewell on Amazon.

olivia wilde in life itself

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Life Itself (Rental)

This 2018 drama connects several different couples across multiple generations, with everyone being linked by one, major event.

Olivia Wilde is, once again, at her cool, smart, tough lady best in Life Itself (which also stars Oscar Isaac, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, and many other big names), but a marked difference here is that her Abby gets to be part of a happy couple.

Stream Life Itself on Amazon.

olivia wilde in in time

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

In Time (Rental)

In a society where time is used as currency and every person has a clock on their body telling them how long they have to live, everyone also stops aging at 25.

While she doesn’t get much to do with her role as Rachel in In Time, you can bet that Olivia Wilde makes the most of her, um… time while playing the mother of Justin Timberlake’s character.

Rent/Buy In Time on Amazon.

This is just a small sampling of the movies and TV shows that Olivia Wilde has appeared in during her time in the spotlight, and you will rarely go wrong when choosing to watch a project that this talent has starred in.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.