The Real Reason Mary Kate And Ashley Quit Acting

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen are two of the most famous child actors in the entertainment industry, thanks to their dual-role of Michelle Tanner on the hit sitcom, "Full House," which aired for eight seasons from 1987-1995 (via IMDb). The dynamic sister duo also starred in a handful of beloved children's movies in the '90s, including "To Grandmother's House We Go," "It Takes Two," "Double Double Toil and Trouble," and "The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley," and flexed their acting chops as teens in films like "Billboard Dad," "New York Minute," "Passport to Paris," and more.

Although the pair seemingly stepped out of the spotlight in the early 2000s to attend college, as well as focus on their careers as budding fashion designers, Mary-Kate appeared in a few projects throughout the decade, including an eight-episode stint on "Weeds" in 2008 and "Beastly" opposite "High School Musical" alum Vanessa Hudgens and "Magic Mike" star Alex Pettyfer. Her sister, Ashley, almost completely left the entertainment biz after starring in "New York Minute" in 2004, but appeared in "The Jerk Theory" as Kissing Girl #3 in 2009 and had an uncredited role in 2010's "I'm Still Here," which served as her last listed acting gig on IMDb.

It's been over a decade since both Mary-Kate and Ashley appeared in any movies, though, and fans everywhere are wondering why exactly the two shelved their acting careers after such a successful run.

Here's why Mary-Kate and Ashley stopped acting

During an interview with Allure in 2013, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen revealed the real reason why they quit acting for good. "I was reading scripts, and ultimately I just said to the people who are representing me, 'I need to do things 100%. I don't feel like I can give you 100% of my time.' There's a lot of compromise in the entertainment industry," Ashley said, while Mary-Kate added, "I am not great at not being able to control the end product."

The Olsen twins had founded their clothing line, The Row, in 2006 (via Vogue), and within a few years of the launch, per Allure, the company had accrued over $12 million in sales — another reason it was hard for the former "Full House" stars to focus on anything but fashion.

"I think in the beginning it was really a project for us. So yes, it started with the T-shirt and then six other pieces fell out of that: tank tops, cardigans, leggings..." Ashley told i-D in 2021, adding that it was about perfecting the fit and fabric of each piece. "It really was kind of just a passion project. It took a year and a half, because there really was no end date or goal in mind as far as turning it into a business, I'd say."

Mary-Kate Olsen thinks the term 'celebrity' is 'weird'

After having two of the most successful childhood acting careers early on in life, both Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen made it their mission to retreat from the limelight to focus on building their fashion careers behind the scenes. In an interview with Elle in 2012, Mary-Kate opened up about being called a "celebrity" most of her life, and the term actually doesn't sit well with her.

"It's weird to be called a celebrity or talk about it," she explained. "I don't talk about being a celebrity in my business meetings. I don't talk about it with my friends. It's not a part of my life. It's a media perception of who I am. It's very weird. I mean, if I see a paparazzi shot of me walking that's in a magazine or something at some event, it's as if I see it from an outsider's point of view. There's like a character, almost, and then there's me."

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were asked to return to Fuller House

When it was announced that a "Full House" spin-off, aptly titled "Fuller House," was making its way to Netflix with the majority of the original cast, including Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, and Lori Loughlin (via IMDb), fans of the beloved sitcom were hoping that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen would reprise their role as Michelle Tanner. However, fans were let down after the twins turned down the offer to appear on the show.

"Ashley said, 'I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17, and I don't feel comfortable acting,'" executive producer Bob Boyett told Cinema Blend in 2019. "Mary-Kate said, 'It would have to be me because Ash doesn't want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us.'"

During an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," Stamos, who also served as an executive producer on the Netflix reboot, revealed another reason the Olsen twins likely didn't want to join the cast of "Fuller House," telling the Bravo patriarch, "I remember Lori [Loughlin] saying to me, 'They won two or three CFDA [Fashion] Awards.' That's like winning two or three Oscars. If you won three Oscars, would you come back and do this? I was like, 'Eh, maybe not'" (via Deadline).