How Elizabeth Olsen Made Her 'Ingrid Goes West' Character Feel So Real


Fans are about to find out what it takes to be a social media icon. The world of tastemakers and influencers is getting the big screen treatment with Ingrid Goes West, a dark comedy about a girl, Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) who becomes obsessed with an Instagram celeb, Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). The film's take on Instagram fame is freakishly accurate, but rest assured that Taylor in Ingrid Goes West isn't based on a real person. At least, Taylor isn't based on on any real social media influencer you might be following on Insta.

"There are things you’re gonna steal from different people," Olsen says in a recent phone call with Bustle, in reference to building her character. The actor explains that she pulled different aspects from a few people in her life to create Taylor, specifically her boho-loving lifestyle. "We were just talking about a friend of a friend who’s really interested in sound baths, and going to Joshua Tree, and meditation, those kinds of things." Olsen adds that she took these lifestyle tips and worldviews and then tweaked them a bit to put her own, Taylor Sloane certified, twist on it. "It’s still kind of fun to take something and use it in a cracked way for a character like this."

Olsen admitted in an interview with Variety that she did partake in a bit of Instagram stalking of her own, checking out pages of particularly successful social media influencers, though she refused to name names. Her research also included starting up her own Instagram account to prep for the film. "We created a fake Taylor Sloane account so I could practice taking photos and understanding what Valencia is," Olsen said in Variety, referencing the popular Instagram filter. She even stole her best friend's social media bio.

It appears that the fake Taylor Sloane Instagram account is @_welltaylored_. The bio reads "Treasure hunter. Castle builder. Proud Angeleno," and the official Ingrid Goes West Instagram account is one of the page's 523 followers. If the account is, indeed, Olsen's prep account for the film, it looks like she got the Insta vibes down. Among her few posts are artsy food photos and some Kafka quotes captions.

All of the _welltaylored_ posts were shared between June 23, 2016, and August 12, 2016, right when Olsen would have been signing on to the project. And the account follows many social media influencers, like Ingrid Nilsen, Alexa Chung, Julie Sariñana, and Aimee Song.

Olsen's own social media presence is not quite so manicured. The actor created an Instagram page just last year, and updates regularly, but rarely. Unlike her character in Ingrid Goes West, she's not hawking lifestyle tips or products.

But she is posting selfies with celebrities because, well, it is Instagram.