What You Never Knew About Olivia DeJonge

In 2022, Olivia DeJonge shot to fame with the premiere of Baz Luhrmann's biopic of Elvis Presley, entitled simply "Elvis," in which she plays the King of Rock n' Roll's wife, Priscilla Presley. She also hit our TV screens that same year in the dramatized version of the famous Netflix true crime documentary "The Staircase," alongside Colin Firth and Toni Collette. It seems DeJonge is an actress on the cusp of a huge Hollywood career — which is pretty impressive.

Just a few years ago, DeJonge was just another Australian teen hoping to make it in the acting business. After appearing in a few short films and the Australian TV show "Hiding," DeJonge got her first big break with the horror film "The Visit." You may also know her from "Better Watch Out," "Will," and "The Society." If you haven't seen her in anything yet, chances are, she'll be on your radar very soon.

Want to learn a little more about this up-and-coming star? Here are a few things you didn't know about Olivia DeJonge.

Olivia DeJonge started acting as a kid after obsessing over Peter Pan

Olivia DeJonge was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1998. There, she grew up with a lot of energy. Eventually, she discovered acting. She was first intrigued by performing when she watched 2003's "Peter Pan." "I definitely printed out a photo of baby Jeremy Sumpter and put it in my voice-activated password diary," she confessed to Vogue Australia. But it wasn't the cherub-faced Sumpter who inspired her — it was the behind-the-scenes featurettes on the DVD. "I was mesmerized," she said. "How he learned to fly, the casting, the hair." It was then that she discovered the magic of filmmaking and became determined to experience it for herself. Luckily, her parents didn't mind indulging her and she proved to be good at it.

By the age of 12, she was attending professional auditions for commercials and TV shows and soon, she showed herself to be pretty talented, according to Vogue Australia. "Honestly, my agent had to sit my parents down and say, 'You need to take this more seriously,'" she recalled.

She would love to meet this famous actress

When asked by Nylon about which actress she'd love to meet, Olivia DeJonge replied, "Natalie Portman." As she went on to explain, Portman is a huge inspiration as an actress. "I just saw 'Jackie,' and she was so amazing," he said. "Her performance was so nuanced."

What DeJonge loved so much about Portman's performance in the biopic about Jackie O was that she didn't seem over rehearsed. "I love when you watch someone and you can tell that everything they're doing isn't thought of in advance, just natural and spontaneous," DeJonge explained. "She embodies the role, and that freed her up to take a lot of risks." It sounds like DeJonge aspires to be as free and truthful in her own performances — and based on what we've seen of the young actress so far, we think she's well on her way to being a young Portman herself!

The actress' first role was all about girl power, which set her up as a feminist

In all of her interviews, Olivia DeJonge comes across as balanced, thoughtful and put together. This hardly comes as a great surprise considering the fact that her very first "real" role was in "The Sisterhood of Night," a movie about teenage witches in a modern-day version of the Salem Witch Trials.

For the young DeJonge, it was the perfect first project to introduce her to the importance of supporting women in the business. "I was 14 when I did that! Practically a fetus child," she joked to Nylon. "It was great, though — a cast of women, written by women, directed by women, produced by women. I was very lucky." And as she told Vogue Australia, "That was my first proper film experience and I loved it so much."

Now, DeJonge describes herself as a proud feminist. For her, giving women equal rights to men is essential. ​​"It is just about being equal," she told Confidential. "It is about us all being human and us all being the same." Perhaps her first film helped her take on board her feminist principles from a young age.

Olivia DeJonge didn't like Shakespeare before being in Will, but the show changed her mind

In the TV series "Will," Olivia DeJonge played Alice, a young woman in Shakespeare's time, desperate for a (forbidden) career on the stage. Even though DeJonge is an actress, she confessed that Shakespeare wasn't always her cup of tea.

"Can I be honest? Before I read the script, I wasn't interested, because I didn't like Shakespeare. At all," the actress confided to Nylon. "Thought he was boring and dusty. But it wasn't until I read the script and spoke to [creator] Craig [Pearce] and [director] Shekhar [Kapur], and listened to them explain the idea behind it, that I was like, 'This is different.'"

The series aimed to dispel Shakespeare's reputation for being stuffy and outdated and bring his works into the modern world. While the show uses Shakespearean language, "it stays just modern enough to allow you to see yourself in it," DeJonge said. Luckily, after spending some time on the show, the actress completely changed her opinion on the playwright.

Olivia DeJonge got a bit freaked out while making The Visit

In 2015, Olivia DeJonge starred in the M. Night Shyamalan horror film "The Visit" as Becca, a young woman who is making a documentary about her family when things start to get a little strange.

When DeJonge first got the part, she didn't really know what to expect from the experience. "We knew absolutely nothing," she told Du Jour. "I didn't know what the movie was about; I didn't who the character was or anything at all. I got an audition piece to read and that was all."

However, once she got to set, she found out — and it wasn't always a pleasant experience. "There were certain elements that were quite dark and serious," she said, adding, "There were certain moments when I definitely got lost amongst the set design and the acting. And there were moments where it was very scary and I had to take a few minutes just to calm down a bit." Yikes, that sounds pretty terrifying!

She has a classic, simple sense of style that's all about sustainability

Since her rise to fame, Olivia DeJonge has quickly established herself as a fashionable figure. She has developed a unique sense of style that is both chic and sophisticated and bold and adventurous. Her best quality is perhaps her awareness of how to wear clothes that suit her body. "What I love about Olivia is that she has a really good awareness of her body in a fitting, which doesn't always happen," her stylist Chloe Hartstein told WWD. "She really knows how things are supposed to fit her — she's kind of intuitive when it comes to that."

As DeJonge told Vogue Australia, she has begun to enjoy wearing more vintage clothes and loves having items that are passed down from generation to generation. "I'm a lot more confident in myself," she added. "I love a good pair of jeans. I just bought this amazing pair from Rag & Bone."

By the sounds of things, this actress is well on her way to becoming a fashion icon.

The actress is a total Aussie at heart -- even if she's a Hollywood star

Even though Olivia DeJonge may be breaking into the upper echelons of Hollywood, she remains a true Aussie at heart. In fact, as she told Nylon, she often misses her simpler life in Melbourne. "Australia feels more laid-back because we're separated from industry; the Australian film industry is a lot smaller and a lot newer," she said. "I was lucky to have surrounded myself in Australia with people who were there for each other." As for how she spends her time off when she's home in Australia, DeJonge enjoys kicking back on her couch with her dog, watching TV, eating her mom's corn on the cob, or having a barbecue. It may be a bit of a cliche, but she doesn't seem to care about that.

In another interview on Reel Talk, DeJonge explained that her Australian upbringing actually helps her stay grounded in LA. "It's so far removed from Hollywood and all of that ... I'm acting because I love acting and I'm removed from, I guess, the Hollywood aspect of it," she said.

Olivia DeJonge worked with a movement coach to prepare for playing a real-life person in Elvis

When Olivia DeJonge signed on to play Priscilla Presley in "Elvis," she not only had to prepare for a complex role, she also had to prepare to play a real person — which isn't always easy. To perfect her performance, the actress had the help of Polly Bennett, the movement coach who helped Rami Malek prepare to play Freddie Mercury and Emma Corrin prepare to play Princess Diana. "​​Everyone could draw a little picture of [Priscilla], but they couldn't really tell you anything about her personality," Bennett said to Vogue Australia.

So, she helped DeJonge find Presley's physicality. Bennett helped her understand "the idea of always being seen and how that affects your body." For DeJonge, capturing Priscilla's physicality was all about finding her "energy of femininity, and more importantly, groundedness." Whatever these two did in rehearsals, it clearly paid off.

She had once planned to study psychology — and she still might do so in the future

Even though Olivia DeJonge may have a thriving film career, she also has academic interests. As she told Glam Adelaide in 2015, her initial plan after high school was to study psychology at university — "but I'm getting a lot of auditions at the moment, so that's taking up much of my time," she said. According to a 2022 interview with The West Australian, she never made it to university, as she decided instead to see how far her acting career could go.

But there may be a time when DeJonge does return to school to pursue her interests in psychology. As she told Perth Now, "I would never want to focus my whole life just on acting. I love to learn. I love different things. I think you want to keep yourself balanced in this industry."

Here's how Olivia DeJonge found out about landing her role in Elvis

For Olivia DeJonge, landing a role in Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis" was a dream come true. Even though she had appeared in several Hollywood projects before, this was by far her biggest role to date. So naturally, when she got the news, she was over the moon.

"I mean, I found out at dinner with my agents," she told Novastream Network. "I asked them about the project as I had sent off an audition tape months ago and hadn't heard much about it!" Then, at dinner, her agents happened to get a text message that she had landed the role — but they couldn't tell anyone, so they had to celebrate amongst themselves. "My agents were running around, grabbing wine and oysters to celebrate," she recalled. "It was crazy, it was a huge rush of adrenaline and happiness!"

What made the news even crazier? Apparently, the actress only did one audition for the role! "I got super lucky," she told Vogue Australia.

Olivia DeJonge had this magical moment while watching Elvis with Priscilla Presley

It's hard to imagine playing the wife of Elvis Presley in a Hollywood biopic — it's even harder to imagine watching your performance while sitting next to the real-life person. But, that's exactly what happened to Olivia DeJonge.

During one of the initial screenings of "Elvis," DeJonge found herself sitting next to the real life Priscilla Presley at the Cannes screening. "It was insanely special. By the end of it, we were holding hands and crying," she told WWD. "It's a beautiful, full-circle moment and to have her support the film, it just means the world."

What's even more impressive about this story is the fact that Priscilla reportedly initially wanted Lana Del Rey to play her in the film, telling reporters, "I like Lana" (via Billboard). It seems that in the end, DeJonge's performance totally won her over.

Advice from Colin Firth helped her while making The Staircase

For most actors, the idea of working with Colin Firth is a complete dream come true. In "The Staircase," Firth played Olivia DeJonge's adopted father. She filmed the HBO show just two months after finishing her work on "Elvis."

"I loved shooting that show, and with the cast involved I couldn't turn it down." DeJonge told The Times. Firth especially proved to be an amazing co-star — which doesn't come as a huge surprise. "What a legend," DeJonge raved. "He gave me some great advice around 'Elvis,' saying that it's going to be a rollercoaster, so 'enjoy the ride, but also come up for air.'" Sounds like Firth was the perfect person to have around. After all, he of all people knows what it's like to deal with the highs and lows of fame. Sounds like he gave her some great tips on how to stay grounded.

Olivia DeJonge isn't too keen on trying to discover the truth about the crime in The Staircase

In "The Staircase," Olivia DeJonge plays Caitlin, the daughter of Kathleen Peterson, whose mysterious death leads to the arrest of her husband, Michael Peterson. Although DeJonge's character initially believes in her adopted father's innocence, she soon switches sides. The show, like the documentary it's based on, is full of twists and turns and (spoiler) the truth is never revealed.

As DeJonge explained to Goggler, "Obviously as human beings, we're all nosey and we want to know the truth. But I think as I've gotten older — I mean, I'm 23, so I still have a little while to go — I've learned that the truth is constructed and there's a big gray area in life." So, when it comes to the mystery of Michael Peterson, she's resigned to the fact that she'll never really know.

Even when she played Priscilla Presley, she took the same approach. As she said to Vogue Australia, "We'll never really know the truth."

Olivia DeJonge will consider herself a 'success' when she can help smaller projects get off the ground

So, what exactly is success, according to Olivia DeJonge? You would think that starring in a show on HBO and a film by Baz Luhrmann would qualify as success for any actor. But for DeJonge, success isn't just about money or fame. "I'll know success has come my way when I'm able to bring a project that I'm really passionate about off the ground or find it some kind of support it wouldn't have gotten otherwise," she told Nylon. "I feel like the industry plays it safe a lot of the time, but there are times when it tries something different, and it pays off — I'd love to be someone who can help something like 'Moonlight' happen."

By the sounds of things, DeJonge is less interested in having success for herself — instead, she's more keen on helping important projects get off the ground. Could this mean a turn to producing or directing in the future? Who knows? But whatever DeJonge decides to do next, we know she'll be a huge success — by anyone's standards.