Olivia Wilde on her MoveOn.org get-out-the-vote video

olivia-wilde-cnnbcHouse star Olivia Wilde is easily one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses. This summer, she shot Cowboys & Aliens with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, and this fall, when she’s not busy promoting the December release of Disney’s Tron: Legacy, she’s shooting the body-swapping comedy The Change-Up with Ryan Reynolds and the sci-fi thriller Now (formally I’m.Mortal) with Justin Timberlake. But she still found the time and nerve to shoot a pointed and imaginative get-out-the-vote video for the liberal political action group MoveOn.org, released yesterday.

Directed by Yaniv Raz, and written by MoveOn’s Laura Dawn and Onion News Network’s Michael Pielocik, the clip casts Wilde as an activist broadcasting from a dystopian future governed by “RepubliCorp” and a war-happy President Sarah Palin — all the result of voter apathy in 2010. Specifically, your apathy; your name, friends, and photos can be incorporated into the video via Facebook, giving the clip an eerily personal message. (You can also opt out of the personalization for a more generic version of the video.) This afternoon, Wilde took a break from shooting Now (which, coincidentally, is also about a dystopian future in which people don’t age past 25) to talk with EW about why she made the video, why she’s not afraid to be political, and what she thinks of what happened to a MoveOn protestor at last night’s Kentucky senatorial debate

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you want to make this video?
OLIVIA WILDE: I made one video project with MoveOn before, the health care video we did with FunnyOrDie. I’m a big fan of creative activism. MoveOn is very good at that. Their creative director Laura Dawn and I became friends around the [2008] presidential election. I was just really attracted to her ideas for bringing together creativity and politics in an interesting and active way. Actors want to help, artists of all kinds want to help, but just us standing there telling you to vote is not really effective, it’s not really useful, and it’s not really our place. I mean, it’s anyone’s place to tell you to vote; of course you should vote. But I do think if you can use artists’ skills to help with that message, you should. I’m very concerned that people won’t make the time to vote. Traditionally mid-terms elections are not popular, particularly among younger voters. This seemed like the most effective way I could help people go out and vote.

So how did this particular video come together?
Laura Dawn e-mailed me the script when I was Santa Fe shooting [the 2011 summer film] Cowboys & Aliens, and I wrote back in a second saying, “This is brilliant. I have to be a part of it.” She said we can only shoot on this particular day. We moved flight schedules around and we made it work so that all the necessary creative people could meet in L.A., and we shot it in about 10 hours. It was fun and challenging and I’m really proud of the result.

What was the idea behind the Facebook personalization?
They’d used [personalization] for an ad before the presidential election, and it had been hugely successful. At that point it was only able to use your name within the text of the video on signs and on a fake news tracker. But it didn’t have the ability to use photos and such because it wasn’t connecting through Facebook. I mean, I’m not a Facebook person; I don’t have a Facebook page, so this is my entry way into Facebook technology. Now we’re able to use photos from Facebook and your friends’ names and your name, which makes it more intensely personal. We also recorded [me saying] 500 names, so whatever your name is, hopefully it’s one of those names I yell at you from the banner ad. It was worth doing that because people have a much more visceral reaction when they hear their name being yelled from their computer.

How did Romany Malco get involved?
The actor who was supposed to do it dropped out at the last minute because he had to work. So Romany just dropped everything and came over, and we explained it to him in a tizzy. We were like [in a tizzy], “OK! We’re making this video! And I’m going to be yelling at you from the screen! We’re getting people to vote! We have this futuristic world! Everything’s gone wrong!” He was completely game and jumped right in and was really creative.

Did you see the video from last night’s Kentucky senatorial debate, when someone from MoveOn, presenting an award from “RepubliCorp” to G.O.P. candidate Rand Paul, was forced to the sidewalk and had a foot placed on her neck?
Yeah, I did see that. It’s disgusting. Obviously she wasn’t doing anything wrong; she wasn’t a threat of any kind. It’s exactly the problem, and people should be outraged. It should be another reason to become involved and pay attention. That’s why organizations like MoveOn are so important, because they bring attention to these things.

So it seems like you don’t have many concerns about putting yourself out there politically?
Not at all. I stand by my beliefs. I don’t force them on anybody else, but it’s something that I’m willing to back up and something that I believe in. I’m not afraid of alienating myself from certain audiences, if that’s what you mean. [Laughs] I’m sure I lost maybe couple thousand people on Twitter. I probably lose them every time tweet anything political. But I don’t mind at all. I would rather stay true to my own political beliefs than pretend not to have them.

Comments (57 total) Add your comment
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  • rees

    I LOVE OLIVIA! She’s on House. She’s gorgeous. She’s not a total airhead. Can’t wait to see her in Cowboys and Aliens.

    • Ben42

      Yeh but sometimes I feel like she could use a decent meal or two, she looks way too skinny.

      • donknottz

        She is actually unbelievably health conscious and Vegan. She is perfect, the rest of the country is fat.

  • Jane

    he’s just mad that young girls won’t do these “crazy things” with him.

  • Nathan

    Pretty sure nobody on earth cares about the political beliefs of someone like Olivia Wilde, gee I wonder who Miley Cyrus supports, or Taylor Swift? Answer: it doesn’t matter.

    • erin

      Did you even read the article? No one’s saying you should care about her political leanings any more than you do the guy who bagged your groceries. She’s advocating for using creativity and artistry in publicizing political issues.

      • Jesus H. Christ

        What does creativity and artistry have to do with Olivia Wilde again?

    • tabata

      oh wait, this is troll weekly!

  • Jerry

    It’s fun when people like Olivia Wilde pretend that their opinions are of any consequence whatsoever, cute really.

    • not that troll

      I love you erin :-)

    • Dysthymia83

      It’s fun when people like Jerry pretend that their opinions are of any consequence whatsoever, cute really.

  • Liver

    Ugh. People like Olivia Wilde need to stick to entertainment. I don’t care about your idiot political ideas. Oh, and for the record, dystopian societies are generally created by liberal people who crave power. At least that’s how I see it.

    It’s going to be a little hard for me to fully enjoy Tron now. :(

    • erin

      So, you obviously have disdain for her views not because she’s an entertainer, but because you don’t agree with them. Brilliant.
      btw, I’m sure she’s really broken up about the fact that you won’t be able to efficiently masturbate to her latest movie now.

    • Jesus H. Christ

      Yeah I know, she just ruined it a little, glad she’s not in True Grit!

    • Ad Rock

      If you can’t separate a person’s personal views/opinions from their work then I feel bad for you. I like Ted Nugent’s music but hate his politics, I like Jon Stewart’s comedy but not his opinions, I like The Who’s music but don’t like the fact that peter townsend is a child molester.

      • Vrag

        Ad Rock is right. I don’t agree with anything Olivia Wilde has said regarding the matter in question, but I still loved Tron and her character in the film very much. She did an excellent job in the film, and we shouldn’t get so worked up about what her views are.

  • lisa

    politics on EW…no thanks

    • kellie

      That is exactly why I am not renewing my subscription to this magazine. I get enough of politics everywhere else. I do not need it from EW.

      • lightenthefuckup

        i’m getting FIVE subscriptions to EW to make up for your bs

      • Patrick

        Yes, Kellie, because God forbid you spend any of your time thinking about things that actually affect your life. Here’s a clue for you: (insert celebrity name here) doesn’t spend any of his or her time thinking about you, doesn’t care who you are dating or where you went out to eat. Why you waste any of your energy caring about Lindsay Lohan or Justin Bieber or whoever is your business, of course. But what happens in Washington will affect your likelihood of finding a job, what kind of care you will get if you become ill or injured, what your quality of life will be when you get old, whether you will be able to retire or have to work until the day you die, and whether the very air you breathe will contain poisons or not. If you don’t understand why that is worth a few minutes of your precious time, I feel sorry for you.

    • Steve

      I sort of agree, but mostly, I hate when campaigns like this say “vote” when they implicitly (and in this case, pretty much explicitly) mean “vote Democrat”. (And no, I’m not a Republican – both annoy me equally.)

      • Samantha

        Amen Steve.

      • Loni

        Excellent comment.

      • Mikos

        I would only say Steve that while they’re clearly left-tilting in this video, the GoP does there own “get out the vote” stuff and they target it where they want, just like this video is aimed at its target.

  • booker

    oh just go away and make Year Two

  • RAZ

    There are enough quality shows and movies out that all it took was a minute and poof, “House” is off my DVR. No reason to waste time/money on shows filled with irritation prats.

  • Kelly

    Moveon is and will always be a Big Government more power to the politician to hell with the individual organization. And they will always use actors and actress who could never get a “real” job to do their “dirty work”. They will lie to the youth about conservative core values, like family first, life begins at conception and individual rights are better then the “collective” IE the Borg! As Dear Leader Chairman MaObama and the Democrats wish for our country.. Leave the running of the country to those who love the founders and the sacrifices they made and stick to making movies and TV.

    • donknottz

      Love the founders? wtf?

    • Gwen

      Wow…just..wow. No wonder our country is going down the tubes. Too many people like you.

  • katie

    The author said “But she still found the time and nerve to shoot a pointed and imaginative get-out-the-vote video for the liberal political action group MoveOn.org”

    Since when does it take nerve for a hollywood celebrity to stand up for liberal causes? It requires about as much nerve as going grocery shopping or combing your hair.

    And libs say Republicans are fear mongerers…this is the most fear mongering ad I’ve seen in a long time.

    • Loni

      I completely agree! The video was completely full of fear-mongering and threats like this one: “If you don’t vote, I’ll invent a time machine and come kick your butt!”

      I also agree, seriously, where’s the bravery in touting liberal causes? It’s like an automatic popularity grab with Hollywood uppity ups.

      Just a ridiculous video and article by EW.

  • Carrie #2

    Man, this is effective. It makes me wish I hadn’t accidentally screwed up the application for my absentee ballot…

  • jd

    How unfortunate. Another actor falling for MoveOn, saying what they’re told to say and being a good little spokesperson for the cause. Soros is laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Englebert

      Yep, jd. Of course you don’t mind at all when the Koch brothers or Rupert Murdoch laugh all the way to the bank while people are losing their homes because the big bad government didn’t regulate the sweet and innocent mortgage companies.

  • CM

    Bravo Olivia! Ignore the trolls. The video is brilliant and I applaud you for standing up for your beliefs.

    • Nick the Dick

      Her beliefs? This girl probably still believes in the Easter Bunny!

  • Felix

    Most of these commenters are hilarious. They’re all just butthurt that she’s openly advocating for liberal causes and doesn’t give a damn if people don’t like her because of that. All your talk of “keep entertainers out of politics” is BS; if this ad were for conservatives, you all would be positively breathless with fawning appreciation and adoration, slobbering all over her like mangy, slobbery dogs.

  • David

    Hollywood Actors have opinions too and its their right to express them just like every other American has.

    If you agree with them or not is a different matter.

    Name calling and generalizing the other side no matter which side your on is not constructive at all.

    But sadly politics in America is no longer about Fiscal responsibility, Education, or Responsible and reasonable regulations.

    It’s now about what the talking heads on the 24 hour news networks want to scare you with or make you angry about.

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