Who Is Elizabeth Olsen?

If there’s one name that’s emerged as a breakout star from this year’s Sundance Festival, it’s Elizabeth Olsen. With starring turns in three eagerly anticipated movies awaiting release in 2011, the 21-year-old has been the talk of the Utah gathering.

But who is this rising star, and where did she come from? Fear not; Celebuzz has dug up the facts on Olsen in order to bring you the lowdown on this showbiz phenomenon-to-be.

So…where did she come from?
As her last name (and uncanny family resemblance) suggests, Elizabeth is the younger sister of child stars-turned-entertainment moguls Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, and as might be expected, her early career received a big boost from her elder sibs. Elizabeth’s first acting gig occurred at the age of four, in her sisters’ maiden movie, Our First Video. She also appeared alongside Mary-Kate and Ashley’s direct-to-video series The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley. Here she is as a tot, charming the press with her big sisters:

What’s she been up to since then?
After her initial splash in show biz, Elizabeth moved on to theater and focused on her education,graduating North Hollywood’s Campbell Hall School (whose famous students also include Dakota Fanning) in 2007 before going on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and the Atlantic Theater Company.

Why all the buzz about Elizabeth?
Though still in the proving-herself stage in her career as a young actress, Olsen has three hot movies slated for release. In the horror film Silent House, she stars as Sarah, who returns to her family’s summer house with her father and uncle to repair the place after it was violated by squatters. Sarah soon begins to suspect that the summer house might be haunted. Concocted by the team behind Open Water, the groundbreaking film is the first horror flick to be filmed in one continuous shot. Check out Elizabeth in the trailer for Silent House below:

Olsen also stars in the upcoming Martha Marcy May Marlene with Hugh Dancy, Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes. Like Silent House, Martha Marcy May Marlene boasts heavy psycho-dramatic elements, with Elizabeth playing an emotionally damaged woman who struggles to reconnect with her family after escaping from an abusive cult. Check out the cast talking about the movie, which was picked up by Fox Searchlight., at this year’s Sundance:

So what’s next?
Olsen will expand into comedy with the upcoming Peace Love & Misunderstanding, about a conservative lawyer who brings his children to meet their hippie parents in Woodstock. She’ll also co-star alongside cinematic heavyweights Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver in the thriller Red Lights, about a psychologist and her assistant, whose study of paranormal activity leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic. The film is currently slated for a 2012 release.