Lizzie Olsen Storms Sundance Film Festival With Two Hit Films

The younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley is the toast of Park City this week

January 23, 2011, 2:10 PM

Jan. 23, 2011— -- With two buzz-worthy films premiering at this week's Sundance Film Festival, 21-year-old Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of famous twins Mary Kate and Ashley, is finally stepping into the limelight where her sisters have spent nearly their entire lives.

Olsen stars in the horror thriller "Silent House" from co-directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, who shocked Sundance audiences with their 2004 thriller "Open Water." She plays a girl who slowly begins to realize that her summer house is haunted.

The film, which is shot in one continuous take, is based on a 2010 film from Uruguay called "La Casa Muda," and was sold to Lionsgate for more than $2 million after its Sundance premiere on Friday.

The other highly buzzed-about Olsen film is the drama "Martha Macy May Marlene," which follows a girl's experiences readjusting to the outside world after she leaves a cult.

Speaking at the festival, Olsen, a spitting image of her sisters, compared shooting "Silent House" to working in the theater, where she has been performing since her childhood.

"When I was auditioning, I was like, 'Just so you know, I'm used to the medium of theater, so like, I can stand on my feet for this long,'" she said.

She also spoke of the plight of indie films, and how their risk-taking nature has helped her career, while speaking to the press at the festival, which seeks to highlight new films by unknown and independent filmmakers.

"It's hard for independent films -- they want to get money," Olsen said. "And to have a lead be an unknown -- it's kind of a risk for people to take -- and so the fact that they took that risk was like made my year, my life, I don't know! It was really exciting."

Olsen is quite open about her experiences being the younger sister of twin moguls who have spent most of their lives in front of the camera, and have been subjected to the ever-present pursuit of the paparazzi.

"When I would go shopping with my sisters when I was younger, it would be dangerous. People would almost get us into car accidents. I just think it's crazy in general, but I want to be an actor -- and I have since I was a little girl -- and if that happens, then you figure out how to deal with it where it doesn't completely infringe upon your life," Olsen said.

"I haven't experienced that personally yet. Hopefully I don't have to, but I think it's a really weird part of this business," she added.

After her Sundance success, Olsen will join Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy in the psychological thriller "Red Lights," the Hollywood Reporter is reporting today.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events