Elizabeth Olsen Reveals How WandaVision Smashed Disney's Expectations

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
WandaVision Elizabeth Olsen Costume

WandaVision was considered enough of a success for Disney and its streaming service that the studio penned a three-year contract with head writer Jac Schaeffer. So, while viewership for the show wasn't touted by Disney like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, the show's reach can't be denied, especially when it comes to its impact on the cultural zeitgeist.

Even the musical number by actress Kathryn Hahn, "Agatha All Along," managed to reach #1 in soundtracks on the iTunes Soundtrack chart.

However, not everyone in the cast was immediately aware of how popular the show had become. For example, it took some time for leading actress Elizabeth Olsen to see the impact WandaVision had on audiences...


Originally published on May 17 in an interview on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Elizabeth Olsen was asked when exactly she learned of the cultural impact that WandaVision had on audiences.

Olsen reflected that she was filming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in a different country at the time, so she was largely distracted when the show first aired:

"Well, it was odd in many ways. I was filming Doctor Strange 2, playing the same part, in a different country — I wasn’t even in a major city in England, I was in a small river town in England."

During her prolonged stay in England, she remarked that she didn't see any advertisements for WandaVision, so she didn't expect it to explode as much as it did:

"It sounded like there were lots of posters and billboards and things like that in LA and New York, but I didn’t see any of that."

While speaking about WandaVision's viewer count, Olsen indicated that the series blew past Disney's expectations for how many people would watch Marvel Studios' first foray into episodic content:

"When I first realized it had big numbers? Disney+ had projected a certain amount of millions of viewers they were hoping to have by a certain time, and it was like 100 million more or something crazy like that. I was like, '100 million?!'"

The exact moment that it finally clicked for Olsen was when director Matt Shakman sent her and Kathryn Hahn a video of a WandaVision-themed drag brunch in early May:

"And then I didn’t realize the cultural impact it had until last week when our director Matt Shakman sent Kathryn Hahn and I a video of a WandaVision drag brunch in Minnesota."

Olsen said that for something to reach such a level of popularity and "be honored with something like that" is when she realized the scope of the show's reach with people:

"I truly believe that you have to reach a certain level of presence in pop culture in order to be honored with something like that. That’s when I started to realize, 'Wow, people really did watch this thing and talk about it weekly. How cool.'"


It's funny that Elizabeth Olsen only fully realized the popularity of WandaVision when she watched the popular TikTok video of a drag queen brunch that tailored their fashion after the show. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently mentioned that the studio would be gauging the reaction to the shows by looking closely at social media.

Obviously, with the shows releasing weekly instead of all at once like some of its competitors, it allows these shows to stick in the consciousness of audiences much longer. As a result, looking at interactions and trends on social media is a great idea. Being able to judge what fans specifically liked about each episode from week to week will only benefit the studio and its impact on pop culture.

All episodes of WandaVision are currently streaming on Disney+.

- In This Article: WandaVision
Release Date
January 15, 2021
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.