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The daughter of Irish journalist, Andrew Cockburn and documentary film-maker Leslie Cockburn, the stunning, “House MD” actress, Olivia Wilde feels that her life has been greatly influenced by the time she spent in Ireland growing up.
The 26-year-old actress best know for her role as Dr Remy “13” Hadley in, Hugh Laurie’s, hugely successful, “House MD” told the Sunday Times about her deep connections with Ireland, her family, her rise to fame and of course her latest projects.
Wilde was born in New York and grew up in Washington DC but hers was far from a normal upbringing. In her home Mick Jagger could be expected as dinner guest and Christopher Hitchens babysat but she insists that she never felt any pressure from her family be become a famous actress.
“It could have been intimidating coming from a family like mine,” she told the Times. “But my parents never put any pressure on me. I was brought up to believe that I had to use my life wisely and, for me, acting is a great way of bringing truth to life.”
Young Wilde was blessed to have spent her childhood summers in Ardmore, County Waterford with her father.
“I love the landscape, the cliff walks, the smell, the freezing cold water, the music…Do I sound like some soppy romantic?” said Wilde. “I even love the food. People always laugh at me when I say that. But I went to Ballymaloe cookery school when I was 12. Those summers were so important. I think that’s when you really grow. Coming back to DC, I always felt so much older.”
Wilde always knew that she would be an actress and changed her name to Wilde, after the brilliant playwright Oscar Wilde, before moving to Ireland to study drama. She trained in Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting and found the more laid back attitude in Ireland helpful in gaining insight and advice.
She said “In Ireland you can get to know your superiors in a way you can’t in the States. There’s no strict hierarchy. I found myself in a bar with Colm Meaney after a performance, drinking a Guinness and asking him for advice. I think you can see this relaxed attitude in the Irish acting style and also Irish writing. There’s no lofty bulls***.”
Soon Wilde will make a return from her break on “House MD” but she has been hugely busy filming over the past number of months. Recently she filmed a Paul Haggis drama “The Next Three Days” with Russell Crowe and Liam Neeson.
Also she play the female lead in a fantasy action movie “Cowboys and Aliens” alongside Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. She said “There was a moment when I was on the set of ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ and I thought, ‘I’m in a Western!’ I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. It’s amazing”.
The movie “Tron” which will be released at Christmas has been getting a massive amount of press. The move is a 3D remake of the 1982 cult classic. Wilde plays the role of Quorra and she was keen to set the record straight about the movie.
“It’s not just an action flick and Quorra isn’t just a sexy vixen…I wanted to create a character women could really respond to. Quorra doesn’t ooze sexuality. She’s odd and innocent, and she symbolizes something hopeful about humanity and technology. While I was preparing for the role, the figure of Joan of Arc was in my mind. Quorra is a childlike warrior, selflessly devoted to her cause.”
After such and amazing year and a return to “House MD” for Wilde has big plans. Wilde is planning to make documentaries and to do some theater and ultimately make a movie that will tell modern Ireland’s story.
She explained “Nora in a “A Doll’s House”, and anything by my namesake, Oscar Wilde…That’s the big dream. The modern Irish story. I feel very distant from what is happening in Ireland at the moment and I’m anxious about how much things are changing. I want to be able to take my children there. I want to make a film that asks what it to be part of a country that was such a different place for our parents.”
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned