Olsen twins' kid sister a Sundance sensation

Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:50pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

PARK CITY (Reuters) - She may not be as famous as her twin siblings, but after the Sundance Film Festival wraps up this week, the paparazzi may give up on Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and focus their cameras on their little sister.

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Olsen has lit up the top annual showcase for independent movies with two films including the suspenseful drama "Martha Marcy May Marlene," which was acquired this week by major indie studio Fox Searchlight.

Showbusiness website The Wrap labeled her a "Sundance Sensation" and it was announced her next project will be with Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver in thriller "Red Lights."

"It feels really awesome," Olsen, 21, told Reuters about being branded one of the festival's freshest new faces. "I mean, I think that's so awesome and flattering, and I hope that if people are talking about that, then that makes people want to see the movies...because that's the goal."

Olsen is three years younger than Mary-Kate and Ashley, who gained fame as infants on 1990s TV sitcom "Full House" in which the twins grew up in front of America's eyes. They launched a series of DVDs that captivated young girls' imaginations, and then fashion lines and numerous other products.

Like her sisters, Elizabeth began acting as a child, not on network TV shows but in community theater. She took acting classes and went on auditions but never hit it big.

She also watched her sisters run the media gauntlet of stalking paparazzi and tabloid headlines and was determined to avoid that type of celebrity.