Hometown: New York City
Why She’s On Our Radar: Olivia Wilde certainly started gaining attention as Mischa Barton’s feisty lady friend on the FOX teen series “The O.C.” But now the actress has really caught our eye by acting as executive producer on the moving short film “Sun City Picture House,” currently in competition at the 10th Tribeca Film Festival. The Haiti set 27-minute film follows a young Haitian man’s journey to rebuild a colonial movie theater for his community following the devastating earthquake.
More About Her: Daughter to journalist parents, Wilde landed her first film role in the 2004 teen sex comedy “The Girl Next Door.” She followed that up with “The O.C.,” and subsequent parts in films and TV shows including “House,” “The Black Donnellys,” “TRON: Legacy” and “The Next Three Days.” She currently serves as a board member of Artists for Peace and Justice, a fundraising effort that provides education and health services in Haiti.
What’s Next: Wilde can next be seen in the summer blockbuster hopeful “Cowboys & Aliens,” opposite Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. She will also appear in Andrew Niccol’s anticipated sci-fi thriller “Now,” alongside Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. In terms of producing, Wilde has another Haiti-set production in the works. “I think I’ll continue to produce documentaries forever,” she said. “What’s better than a brilliant documentary to inspire the masses to change the world?”
indieWIRE Asks: How did you come onto “Sun City Picture House?”
I have worked with Bryn Mooser, one of the filmmakers, as a fellow Artist for Peace and Justice, in Haiti, for several years, and this project was one I wanted to support from its conception.
What appealed to you about the subject?
People often only see the hopelessness associated with Haiti. This film captures the Haitian spirit of light and perseverance that defines an incredible country.
How and when did you get involved and become aware of Artists for Peace and Justice?
I became a part of the APJ family as it was being formed in Paul Haggis’s back yard in 2008. Paul and I had worked together on “The Black Donnellys” and bonded over our shared passion for social justice.
Did any one person/artist/friend inspire you to become a philanthropist?
My parents, both investigative journalists, inspired us from a young age to use our lives to make the world a more just and peaceful place.
What do you hope this film will inspire from people and specifically Tribeca audiences?
The film is a love letter to film itself, to the healing power of storytelling and the resilience of the human spirit.
Were you present for the unveiling of the theater?
Sadly I was working and missed the unveiling. But I’ve been to the theater, and I’ll be there again in a few weeks, and my heart nearly explodes with joy when I feel its power. Let me assure you, there is nothing more beautiful than the sound of laughter pouring from the Sun City Picture House on a clear Haitian night.
Lastly, how do you manage your schedule?
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.