Elizabeth Olsen has explained why her Marvel character Wanda Maximoff no longer has a vaguely European accent.
Olsen, who stars in the new Disney+ series WandaVision, has portrayed Wanda – AKA Scarlet Witch – since a short cameo in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In her first proper appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Olsen played the character with a thick accent inspired by Wanda’s fictional home of Sokovia. Yet in all of her subsequent appearances, and in WandaVision, Olsen speaks with an ordinary American accent. Olsen has now explained the switch was deliberate.
Speaking to Collider, Olsen said that she and actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who portrayed Wanda’s late brother Pietro, created the accent with their dialect coach, and that it was modelled after different “Slavic sounds”.
“We wanted to make sure it didn’t sound Russian because Black Widow speaks Russian, and so we just needed to sound more like Slovakian,” Olsen said. “So we created these sound changes that worked for Aaron’s British accent going to Slovakia, basically, and my American accent so that we sounded related.”
Olsen also added that her character’s accent “hasn’t gone anywhere”, and that Wanda merely phased it out as she moved to the United States.
“There have been reasons for everything,” Olsen explained. “It lightened up when she started living in the States, and in WandaVision she is playing the role of being in an American sitcom and so it’s not gone. It is absolutely still there.”
WandaVision, which began on Disney+ last week (15 January), features Wanda and her love interest Vision (Paul Bettany) appearing to exist inside a 1950s sitcom.
Fans have already spotted a number of Easter eggs in the show, most notably a tease in its opening credits which appears to hint at the arrival of a famous Marvel villain.
WandaVision is available to stream on Disney+ now – find our review here.