From playing Rose Tico to a recovering alcoholic, the actress is about to show us her range.
There was a time when “Facebook movie” just meant The Social Network. But Facebook may be one to watch out for now as it expands its horizons into entertainment. The social media company is slowly bulking up a slate of original content for its Facebook Watch platform, which has been backed by some heavyweights in the film and entertainment industry.
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) joined their likes of Kerry Washington and Ian McKellen early in the month after it was announced that she too would be developing and starring in a dramedy series for Facebook called Sorry for Your Loss. Variety has since added that Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) will be co-leading the series as Jules, the sister to Olsen’s character.
According to the original Deadline report on the show, while the plot details of the series are few and far between at the moment, Olsen will star as a young widow who has to deal with the grief of her loss and rekindle past relationships. It’s not a stretch to assume that one of those fraught relationships would be with Tran’s character. Per Variety’s description of Jules:
“The character is described as the most fun girl at a party, and the hardest to live with. In the face of her brother-in-law’s death, Jules is not only fighting day-by-day to maintain her sobriety, but also struggling to evolve out of the role of the well-meaning disaster in her family.”
The potential to see Tran play a character that sounds so different to Rose Tico is very exciting. In The Last Jedi, Rose definitely has her shit together, even when she’s a little more starstruck over Finn. So being a “well-meaning disaster” is both a concerning and intriguing description for Jules. I absolutely champion Tran playing roles in different genres, even if my wish for her to be in a comedy is only hypothetical for now.
With Sorry for Your Loss, Tran will have to not simply play a diametric opposite to Rose but find some empathetic middle ground for the character who is just imperfect, and this will really test her range as an actor. There is also joy in an Asian woman getting to play against type, and Tran has so far done that consistently. Tran is an unequivocal heroine after playing Rose, while Jules sounds like the perfect flip-side.
It’s always fantastic to see Olsen do indie stuff, too. She captured minds in her first major film project, Martha Marcy May Marlene, seven years ago with an eerily haunting and conflicted performance that props up the entire movie. Olsen’s subsequent projects have been more varied, although as movies like Godzilla, Kill Your Darlings, and even her Marvel movies attest, she has also been criminally underused.
Some of Olsen’s best work remains in smaller films when she has enough screen time to work her acting magic. Liberal Arts, Very Good Girls, and Ingrid Goes West are infinitely more rewarding for Olsen fans as she plays more active and complicated characters in them. Sorry for Your Loss could be a great addition to those more intimate projects.
Sorry for Your Loss was created by Kit Steinkellner (Z: The Beginning of Everything), with Lizzy Weiss (Switched at Birth) on board as showrunner. James Ponsoldt is slated to direct several episodes, including the pilot. His having helmed impressive indie dramas like Smashed, The Spectacular Now, and The End of the Tour, it would seem that Sorry for Your Loss will be in good hands. Could Facebook have landed yet another winning combination to boost buzz for their burgeoning streaming platform? It would seem so.