After rocking bisexual roles in The O.C. and House, Olivia Wilde takes another spin on the small screen as a suburban wife and former Warhol muse in Vinyl, Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter’s HBO drama about the music industry in 1970s New York, premiering February 14. Here she goes on record about being a wild child with a social conscience.
The Advocate: I interviewed your fiancé, Jason Sudeikis, for this column in 2011. Do you ever argue over who has the bigger LGBT following?
Olivia Wilde: [Laughs] I’d happily challenge him, but I would hope I’d win in a landslide. I mean, come on! I’m proud to have played characters who’ve inspired people to live out loud, and I’m lucky to have reached an audience that’s been incredibly enthusiastic and supportive.
You were raised in Washington, D.C. What was your introduction to the LGBT community?
My parents were journalists and friends with writers, artists, and just a really interesting assortment of people, so I was exposed to all lifestyles from a young age. It never occurred to me that some people were seen as wrong or even different. Jason and I certainly have the same attitude with our son. It’s important to us that he lives in New York to get exposure to every type of person, every race, every sexual orientation.
You’ve been vocal in your support of equality. When did you develop that activist spirit?
I went to a very progressive elementary school where I was heavily educated in civil rights. I remember learning about Harvey Milk when I was in sixth or seventh grade and being so inspired. That’s when I was introduced to the idea that we have a social responsibility as citizens to continue the fight for civil rights, and that the power of one individual’s voice is enormous.
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