W MAGAZINE – Google actress Olivia Wilde’s name and you’ll find an impressive reel that includes credits like Her and Vinyl, which is, of course, not surprising. What may be surprising, however, is that Wilde quietly teamed up with eco-beauty brand True Botanicals earlier this summer. “I feel lucky to be their chief brand activist, because I have the chance to introduce people to a safer way to feel beautiful,” says Wilde. Here, she sounds off on adventures at Whole Foods, set life on the show House, and which products she trusts for her ethereal glow.
Was motherhood the big wake up call in cleaning up your beauty routine?
Yes, absolutely. We often don’t consider what we’re putting on our skin until we’re responsible for growing another human. Why can’t we be that thoughtful on behalf of just ourselves? I was struck by how serious the warnings were about the dangers of skincare while pregnant. Why is it okay to expose ourselves to such harmful chemicals at any point in our lives?
How did you find out about the lack of regulation in the beauty industry?
I was not aware of the complete and utter lack of regulation in the American beauty industry until I met Hillary [Peterson] and Christina [Mace-Peterson] from True Botanicals. I knew the US was behind in terms of regulation, but I was not aware of just how far behind. The EU has banned more than 1300 ingredients. The US has banned 20. It is beyond shocking. It’s sad.
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.
Olivia Wilde has never shied away from voicing her opinion on political matters, and this upcoming election is no exception.
The actress and new mother is speaking out in support of Proposition 47, a California voter initiative which reduces penalty time for certain crimes.
“Family is everything. I’ve always felt that way, but having a baby this year really drove that truism home,” Wilde began.
“Being a mother has reinforced and refined my thinking on many issues, including—believe it or not—our criminal justice system. That’s why I’m supporting Proposition 47.”
Wilde gave birth to her first child with Jason Sudeikis, a baby boy named Otis, earlier this year. She and Sudeikis are engaged but have yet to tie the knot.
Wilde continued on about the initiative, saying that her family “instilled, since I was a child, a commitment to critical thinking. Don’t believe what you hear; explore and analyze what you encounter to determine your own truth. This family trait has led me to not only think deeply about societal issues but also to act. Having my son has only increased my desire to do so.”
She continued, “I also am one of several Artists for 47 endorsing the initiative, ranging from Jay‐Z to Brad Pitt to Cameron Diaz and John Legend. We’re united in this effort because our current justice system is tearing apart families for low‐level crimes, and draining community resources and tax coffers to pay for it. It hasn’t worked, and I urge Californians to join me on November 4 in voting yes on Prop. 47.”
Olivia Wilde had her big break thanks to roles on television shows such as The O.C. and House, but she credits The Gaiety School for honing her drama skills.
“I know it sounds funny but Colin Farrell was seriously like God to my whole class at the Gaiety…We had a photo of him in the in the studio and there were pictures of him all over the school.”
However, once she hit the big time in Hollywood, her own photo was then given pride of place in the acting school’s hall of fame.
“A girl came up to me in a coffee shop in New York and said ‘I was a student at the Gaiety School and we just loved you and had your photo on the wall and everyone dreams of having your career,’” she recalls. “That’s when I felt yes, that’s amazing because my time in Dublin, that’s really what got me to where I am today. I learned a huge amount from the Irish style of acting and it’s served me well.”
The 30-year-old actress was born Olivia Cockburn and spent her childhood summers at her Irish grandfather’s home in Ardmore, Co Waterford.
The mum-of-one is intent on making a movie based in the picturesque South East countryside, but has yet to find the right script.
“It’s so close to my heart…we spent summers on the beach in Waterford and riding horses near my grandfather’s house, I probably have such a romantic notion of Ireland but honestly my dream is to make a movie there.”