'Meadowland' Is Olivia Wilde's Darkest Role Yet

The new movie Meadowland stars Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson as parents whose lives are turned upside down when their son is abducted. The plotline conjures up images of scary news headlines and cautionary tales used by parents to dissuade their children from talking to strangers. Thankfully, though, if you're wondering if Meadowland is based on a true story, breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that it's not — although it is likely a situation that all families hope never to encounter.

The movie, out Oct. 16, is based on a script from new screenwriter Chris Rossi, who has worked on features previously but never as the lead writer. It's also the feature film debut of director Reed Morano, whose past endeavors were primarily in cinematography. Morano and Wilde worked together to bring Rossi's script to life, deliberately crafting the scenes surrounding the abduction in a way that would be realistically terrifying but not sensationalist. Wilde is a new mother herself (she and husband Jason Sudeikis welcomed their first son in April 2014) so the film's storyline likely had an added level of relevance for her— and also an added level of difficulty. But this isn't the first time that the actress has taken on a challenging film. Here are some of Olivia Wilde's most dramatic roles to date.


Wilde played Remy "Thirteen" Hadley, a brilliant young doctor who was revealed to have Huntington's disease. The character's arc became much more intense as she struggled with her own mortality and the knowledge of her eventual death as a result of the degenerative disease.

The Lazarus Effect

In this sci-fi horror thriller, Wilde's character Zoe was a medical researcher who died in an experiment gone wrong....and then was resurrected using a serum that she herself had developed. But if movies have taught us anything, it's that trying to cheat death typically doesn't turn out well — and so Zoe's return from the dead brought some unexpected consequences.


In a small but memorable role, Wilde portrayed a Harvard grad who went on a blind date with Joaquin Phoenix's character, only to have it end in an insulting tirade by Wilde when she realized Theodore's reluctance to commit. It's a super poignant moment in the film, and also stirs up memories of bad Tinder dates.

Wilde has definitely had her share of dramatic roles before, but Meadowland is new territory due to both its subject matter and its personal relevance to the actor. In addition, Wilde served as a producer for the film, so she is attached to it in more ways than one. Here's to hoping that Meadowland serves as a powerful (although admittedly tragic) steppingstone for Wilde's career.

Images: Cinedigm, NBC Universal, Relativity Media, Warner Bros