From ’13 Going on 30′ opposite Jennifer Garner to the CBS hit sitcom ‘Still Standing,’ Renee Olstead has been gracing our screens for 20 years. She certainly has captured everyone’s heart as Madison Cooperstein on the ABC Family’s ‘The Secret Life of The American Teenager.’ Her 2015 box office hit movie Unfriended garnered her much attention both domestically and internationally. At 26, the poised actress is also a talented singer. Renee Olstead is a force to be reckoned with.
Examiner: ‘The secret life of the American Teenager’ is trending again thanks to Netflix, do you feel any connection between yourself and your popular character Madison Cooperstein?
Renee Olstead: I do! I think we can all relate to Madison because she always had good intentions, but she didn’t always say the right thing. The funniest bit about all of this is that I get so many comments about how much I’ve changed, how much prettier I’ve become since we stopped filming. It’s sort of a backward compliment because truthfully I haven’t changed at all. I change my hair sometimes, but I’m the same dress size and no I haven’t had a nose job haha! I think it’s difficult for some people to recognize Madison’s style with mine if that makes sense.
E: What role would you love to play that you haven’t yet?
R: I’ve been dying a lot in movies lately. My next movie I’m really hoping to make it out alive!
I love period pieces and would love to do something set in the 50’s or 60’s. I’m obsessed with retro styles!
E: That was certainly the case for your character in the technology-themed thriller film Unfriended? How was your experience shooting this movie?
R: Super fun! Filming Unfriended was such an amazing experience because we shot it in such a unique way. All of the actors had their own camera rig and filmed themselves. We’re all onscreen for the whole film, without traditional scene breaks, so we shot 80-minute long takes. I feel like unfriended got so much attention because it was so innovative in it’s filming process and visual format. I don’t think audiences had ever seen that before.
E: You truly have a dazzling voice and a love of jazz. I also really enjoyed your ‘Without You’ E.P. Are you currently working on some new material?
R: I’m so glad you love the new music! I’m doing a few domestic performance dates in the next month and I’m looking forward to getting back in the studio! Thank you for checking out my music, that made my day!
E: You have openly shared your battle with past eating disorder, what advice would you give to someone who is struggling with the same condition?
R: The biggest thing that I realized was that ultimately my weight has little to do with how happy I was in my day to day life. I think a lot of girls with similar issues think that if they lose weight that they will somehow be happier, or earn a better life for themselves, but in truth that’s not really the case. Happiness is about taking care of yourself and making choices that are good for you. Ultimately negative people will always find something wrong with you and terrible people will always be jerks no matter what size you wear. So shift your focus from trying to be perfect to just being happy and surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good!
E: Could you tell me more about your upcoming projects?
R: My latest movie Tell-Tale Lies opposite Alexa Vega (Nashville) and Beau Mirchoff (Awkward) will be coming to theaters soon! It’s based off the Edgar Allan Poe classic The Tell-Tale Heart. It was really fun to play a more villainous character for a change! They just released the poster over the weekend!
For more information on the beautiful Renee Olstead, please visit her Instagram page and her Twitter page. Her ‘Without You’ E.P. is out now.