Bizarre things about the Olsen twins that make no sense

It kind of goes without saying that any hope for a normal life gets dashed for people who become millionaires before they can even walk, but Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who famously portrayed Michelle Tanner on the smash sitcom Full House, cranked the dial on their wacky personal lives all the way up to 11.

With everything from their strange dating preferences, to some questionable business practices, to Mary-Kate's still-unexplained connection to the death of Heath Ledger, the Olsen twins have led bizarre lives since leaving the TGIF lineup. Though they've found massive success in an entirely separate business — the fashion world, and they've also become increasingly reclusive. And they don't smile. But we're getting ahead of ourselves here. There's a lot to unpack when it comes to the mysterious world of the Olsen twins, so let's dive right in and find out just how peculiar Mary-Kate and Ashley's lives have become.

Banking on bad movies

Yeah, Mary-Kate and Ashley made a lot of money splitting the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House (1987-1995), but they continued to rake in beaucoup bucks when the popular sitcom ended. Their net worth in 2018 was an estimated $400 million combined. How have these child stars remained rich when so many of their peers have struggled?

The twins earned much of their fortune making unintentionally laughable direct-to-video movies — 45 to be exact, according to Elle. Their most famous film, New York Minute (2004), earned a dismal 11 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes – and the bulk of those percentage points are probably owed to co-star Eugene Levy — yet none of that stopped the movie from collecting more than $21 million worldwide. It's the same for much of their video oeuvre, which was largely ignored by critics. However, their 1995 collaboration with Steve Guttenberg and Kirstie Alley, It Takes Two, did garner enough attention to pull in 8 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In spite of all the critical panning, Elle claims that the twins' film career raked in a startling $750 million dollars. Call us crazy, but we'd trade in every bad review ever written in exchange for that kind of scratch.

The Mary-Kate - Heath Ledger connection

It seems to have been forgotten over the years that Mary-Kate was somehow linked with actor Heath Ledger's death in 2008. While there was never any suggestion of foul play, Mary-Kate's name was involved from the moment the Dark Knight star's body was discovered. When Ledger's masseuse found him unconscious in his New York City home, the first person she called was Mary-Kate, twice, instead of 911.

According to the Daily Mail, when the masseuse finally determined she should reach out to the authorities, Mary-Kate "sent over her security team who arrived at [Ledger's] flat at the same time as the ambulance." Stranger still, multiple news sources reported that Mary-Kate refused to talk to federal investigators about Ledger's death unless she was granted immunity. Why was she so concerned about being implicated for something? Did it have anything to do with Ledger's accidental overdose on prescription pills?

Her attorney, Michael C. Miller, denied she had anything to hide. "Mary-Kate Olsen had nothing whatsoever to do with the drugs found in Heath Ledger's home or his body, and she does not know where he obtained them," Miller said in a statement.

Mary-Kate's stonewall tactic eventually worked when the DEA and federal prosecutors closed the inquiry into Ledger's death in August of 2008. "The U.S. Attorney of the Southern District decided not to serve Olsen with a subpoena," a source told the New York Daily News, which effectively let Olsen off the hook for any further speculation.

Opioid crisis? What opioid crisis?

The Olsens are now successful fashion designers. With multiple clothing labels to their name, the twins offer everything from affordable children's clothing all the way up to haute couture. And while they kicked off their careers with threads sold exclusively at Walmart, they really shot to the top of the catwalk when they unleashed a $55,000 pill-covered handbag associated with their label The Row in 2012.

That's right, these two helped create a black crocodile leather backpack covered with prescription pills and called it high fashion. According to Entertainment Weekly, the must-have accessory for the fashionable pharma rep was the result of a collaboration with artist Damien Hirst, whose pill-centric work was previously featured in some of his other installations, called Pill Cabinets. So you should be sensing a theme here, is what we're getting at.

At any rate, this ghastly accessory celebrating drug culture seems even more offensive considering Mary-Kate's rumored connection to the celebrity drug scene, not to mention Ledger's overdose on prescription drugs. The good news: they only made 12 of them, so not only were their ill-gotten earnings likely capped at $660,000, which, let's be honest, is a drop in the bucket to their nearly half billion dollar fortune, but also there's a good chance you'll never encounter one of these abominations strapped to someone's back in real life.

Mary-Kate looks...different

For most of their adult lives, the Olsen twins looked like younger, pint-sized versions of Cameron Diaz, but around November 2014, people began noticing just how different Mary-Kate looked compared to her younger self and her fraternal twin sister. Naturally, the plastic surgery rumors flew, with some gossip sites even claiming Ashley had altered her appearance, too.

In 2017, the plastic surgery chatter kicked into high gear again after the Olsens showed up to the MET Gala (above), where Mary-Kate once again bore the brunt of the speculation. It should be said, however, that the tabloid Life & Style did its best approximation of due diligence when it consulted with a plastic surgeon (who hadn't treated either twin) about possible work Mary-Kate had done. His conclusion? Smoking and/or bad makeup and lighting is to blame for her gaunt face. Mystery solved.

The ladies rarely talk about their personal lives and have certainly not fielded questions about cosmetic surgery, but don't worry, because unethical plastic surgeons who are willing to speculate on patients they've never treated just to get their name mentioned in a national publication are never in short supply.

Olsens to Paltrow: 'Hold our beer'

The Olsen twins were asked by Elle to recommend some Christmas gift ideas in 2014. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they exclusively suggested items from their boutique Los Angeles shop, The Row. The real shock came with the sticker prices on some of the items, or more accurately, the lack of prices, since everything was listed as "price upon request," whatever that means. (Expensive. It means very expensive.)

Exactly how much do the Olsen twins expect someone to pay for a rare Van Cleef lighter or a deck of vintage playing cards? We'll probably never know, but we feel that we should point out that versions of both of those things can be purchased at virtually any convenience store for around $1.

Are the items in their shop actually worth their mysterious, but surely exorbitant prices, or are the Olsen twins just trying to give Gwyneth Paltrow and her Annual GOOP Gift Guide — with its similarly market-priced personal submarine — a run for its money?

Fuller House remains one pair shy

Portraying Michelle Tanner on Full House was undeniably the starting point for all of the Olsen twins' fame, but when the cast signed on to be in the sequel series, Fuller House, the Olsen twins were the only ones to decline. While it's understandable that they want to take their lives in a different direction, it doesn't seem too much to ask for the Olsens to at least make a cameo as a nod to the fans and co-stars that cemented their lives of leisure and luxury.

The reclusive duo did sort of share its reasons for skipping the reunion. According to show producer Bob Boyett, "Ashley said, 'I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17, and I don't feel comfortable acting,'" and "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."

Amazingly, Full House and Fuller House creator Jeff Franklin doesn't consider the snub a burned bridge, although he did tell Us Weekly that after three years of rebuffed invitations to join the show, he's done asking. "But when somebody rings a doorbell, the girls yell, 'It's always open!' on the show," Franklin said, adding, "So that's kind of how we feel about the Olsen twins. The door is open."

Elizabeth Olsen is no long lost twin

Actress Elizabeth Olsen took a bit longer than her older sisters to breakout as an actress — 21 years to be exact. But taking time before diving into the acting world isn't the only difference between Elizabeth and the twins.

Where Mary-Kate and Ashley are reclusive and cagey, Elizabeth is outgoing, vivacious, and comes off like an extremely well-adjusted regular person who just happens to act really, really well. Baby sister's resume also creates a significant difference between her and her sisters. Elizabeth never dabbled in cheesy tween fare. She went straight to critically-acclaimed indies, such as Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), then on to mega-hits such as Godzilla (2014), The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Captain America: Civil War (2016).

Elizabeth is also no stranger to the red carpet and interviews, and she displays a remarkable savvy about how to navigate A-List fame while maintaining her personal life. "It comes quite easily," she told Vogue. "I don't know if that comes from growing up in LA and having so many examples around me all the time. It's something that I watched people doing well growing up."

Clearly, she wasn't referencing Mary-Kate and Ashley, who famously, and hilariously failed at hiding from the paparazzi so often that artist Laura Collins created a whole exhibit around their antics. We know we're going to sound like nagging parents here, but seriously, Mary-Kate and Ashley, would it kill you to be a little more like your sister?

credit=Getty Images]

Mary-Kate's Kool wedding

There are few details about the notoriously press-shy Mary-Kate's wedding, but like many things in the eccentric twins' life, one tidbit leaked from the nuptials left everyone scratching their heads.

Page Six reported that a source said there were "bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night," which is bizarre, especially since it took place in Manhattan, where for years smokers have been shunned into shameful, huddled groups as far away from the general public as possible. Then again, Mary-Kate married Olivier Sarkozy, a french billionaire, so maybe the cigs and the laissez-faire attitude sort of do make sense. But what about the other details?

Page Six also reported that guests, of which there were only 50, "were required to turn in their cellphones" before a cocktail reception and indoor dinner at "a private residence on 49th Street, between Second and Third avenues." Actually, that all seems completely in line for a woman who once said, "We've stayed quite sheltered." Okay fine, that was Ashley, but you get our point.

They are living pop culture artifacts

After becoming enamoured with the few details surrounding Mary-Kate's wedding, Olsen enthusiasts Viviana Olen and Matt Harkin decided to open a pop-up museum dedicated to the strange public persona of the twins. According to a 2016 story in The Huffington Post, the venue mostly features paintings of paparazzi photos of Mary-Kate and Ashley hiding their faces, but it also has other wacky features like "a phone that only takes calls from Candace Cameron Bure offering parts on Fuller House" and a recreation of Mary-Kate's wedding tablescape of cigarettes.

There's definitely a tongue-in-cheek aspect to the attraction, which is why the curators have also published a companion magazine, which is basically just photos of the paintings with funny captions: "Here we see an Olsen coming to one of two realizations: that she will have to close a car door herself (for some reason) or that her outfit only works sitting down." Hopefully, the Olsen twins are as big a fan of self-deprecation as they are of nicotine.

Alexa, tell the Olsen twins they sound like snobs

In a profile in The New York Times about the launch of the Row — the Olsen twins' super high-end clothing store, Ashley admitted she "has never purchased anything online," while Mary-Kate bought something once "at an online auction." We're just going to assume it was a Jesse & The Rippers CD autographed by John Stamos because that's the only way we'll feel like these ladies are somewhat relatable humans after reading about their ridiculous store.

The Times story includes the following descriptions about their boutique: "They convinced Masa Takayama, the renowned sushi chef, to sell them his ceramics," and "Indeed, the store feels more like a tastefully appointed manse than a traditional retail shop, its individual rooms decorated with marquee art (a Basquiat here, a Borge Jorgensen sculpture there) and significant furniture." 

Cool, so we're guessing no clearance rack, right? How about layaway, because if we can do $5 on that Jorgensen, we'll totally be back next week with the rest.

Did they build a billion-dollar brand on the backs of overworked interns?

Former intern Shahista Lalani spearheaded a class action lawsuit against the Olsen twins' Dualstar Entertainment Group after she felt her duties went beyond the acceptable scope of an internship. According to Page Six, lead plaintiff Lalani and about 40 interns past and present claim they were treated poorly and not compensated for their extremely long hours. Though Lalani admits the Olsen twins were nice during her brief encounters with them, she feels the company the twins built did not handle its interns properly. And she has a point. How do coffee runs, data entry, or making photocopies educate students who are volunteering their time to learn about fashion design?

According to court documents obtained by Radar, the twins tried to reach a confidential settlement with the plaintiffs, which would have ostensibly allowed them to avoid the publicity of a trial and the additional shady dealings it may uncover. But in March of 2017, the terms of the settlement were made public, and the Olsen twins agreed to pay $140,000 to the approximately "180 present and past interns" who were eligible, according to E! News. After legal fees, that leaves a whopping $530 per intern who allegedly wasted their entire internship on mundane office work and didn't learn anything about fashion. How rude!

Sweating for their art

We get that fashion, especially the haute couture kind in which the Olsen twins dabble, isn't always meant to be functional, but at what point does personal comfort outweigh looking cool? 

For the Olsen twins, we're not sure that line even exists, since they were spotted on May 18, 2017, stepping out in New York City wearing what appear to be some heavy fall fashions. One of them — we can't tell which — was even wearing a long wool overcoat and a huge scarf. So? They always dress strangely, right?

Well, as Refinery 29 points out, the twins were photographed walking down "a piping hot New York sidewalk in 90-degree weather." To be exact, the high in The Big Apple that day was 92 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Accuweather, which either means the Olsen twins have secretly been cold-blooded lizard people this whole time, or sweating one's face off is about to be the look of the summer. Either way, it's just more of the perfectly bizarre Olsen behavior we've all just learned to accept.

Why so serious?

At some point in their lives, the Olsen twins decided that smiling either wasn't cool or was too off-brand for them, so they basically stopped doing it in public. And though they rarely do red carpets, this dour choice has resulted in countless "We'd love to be anywhere but here" photo-ops, which has even led to zany speculation that they no longer have teeth.

The 2017 MET Gala was no exception. Not only did the twins show up in their "signature boho-chic looks," but they ice-grilled every other megastar there, including Nicki Minaj, according to Bravo. It didn't phase the "Anaconda" singer one bit, who Instagrammed "OMG I'm gagging," upon meeting them. Interestingly, Page Six reported that later in the evening, the sullen sisters ended up at Rihanna's afterparty, where they were "dancing on a banquette" until 3:45 a.m. So far, there's no footage of said dancing, and we can only hope it stays hidden, because we can't even imagine the catastrophic damage a video of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's stone-faced Coyote Ugly routine would do to the internet.

Thanks for coming, have a crystal

What's a story about bizarre celebrity factoids without the mention of some trendy new age alternative wellness practices? For years, controversial celebs such as Spencer Pratt, Jaden and Willow Smith, and Kim Kardashian have extolled the various alleged healing properties of crystals. Now it's Mary-Kate and Ashley's turn, and so, naturally, they took things into the strange-o-sphere by handing out black and clear crystals as parting gifts for their fall 2019 runway show during Fashion Week in New York City.

According to The Cut, the Olsens paired the "palm-sized" tourmaline (black) and clear quartz crystals in matching knit bags, along with a card that offered a description of the rock's mystical properties, as well as instructions for its proper care (A 24-hour salt is required for proper cleansing.) The clear crystal was said to offer its recipient "universal harmony" as well as the balance of one's "physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual planes." The tourmaline was said to provide "protection" from "negative energies," as well as a reduction in fear and an increase in focus.  

Now, we're not here to poo-poo anyone's beliefs. If crystals are your thing, awesome, may the force be with you. But combined with everything else we know about the Olsens, like they're apparent passion for a known carcinogen (cough, cough: cigarettes,) the idea of harmoniously balancing one's aura with clear rocks seems strange.

Wait, does this mean they're not telepathic?

This one actually has kind of a sweet, twist ending, but it all started with a seemingly classic example of odd Olsen twin behavior. During the aforementioned runway show — You remember, the one with the crystals in the gift bags — Mary-Kate and Ashley were spotted mysteriously squeezing each other's hands, as if in silent communication, saying, "Are we doing weird enough stuff right now? Do we need to be weirder?"

It turns out, the gesture is possibly a long-held practice of the twins, as unearthed by the blog Oh No They Didn't, who found a 1999 interview in which Mary-Kate said, "We have this little thing when, you know, we love each other — we'll squeeze each other like three times, then I'll squeeze her hand back like four times, like, 'I love you too. I love you.'"

Great, that's probably one of the cutest things we've ever heard, and here we are going, "Look how weird they are!" Well, we feel sufficiently self-shamed, how 'bout you guys? Let's just move on.

Old guys are so in right now

When Mary-Kate started dating Olivier Sarkozy, the banker and brother of former french president, Nicolas Sarkozy, eyebrows immediately shot up over the pair's age difference. Olivier is about 17 years Mary-Kate's senior. But then they actually went the distance and got married, leading skeptics to reevaluate whether or not the unlikely pairing was actually a match made in heaven.

But then there's the fact that Ashley has been connected to a string of old dudes as well. According to W Magazine, she's been "romantically linked to visual artist George Condo, 59, as well as the CEO of Oliver Peoples, David Schulte, 47, among others." Her most recent May-December romance, as of this writing, was with financier and art dealer, Richard Sachs, 58, from whom she split in March 2017.

Granted, this could just be a coincidence, or it could be a practical reflection of either that creepy "twin-sense" that Ashley once said they "definitely feel." It could even just be a demonstration of the oft-repeated remark about the fickle fashionistas having "old souls." Regardless of the "why," the optics of a young woman on the arm of guy who looks like he could be her dad are always going to come across strange. Sorry, if that makes us sound old-fashioned or out of touch. Maybe our crystals need a salt bath.

Why do we still care?

Though they've spent the past decade building a billion-dollar fashion empire, the Olsen twins have pretty much avoided the glare of the public eye the entire time. They don't act anymore, and the clothes they produce are too high-priced for the average person, yet they've maintained a level of unjustifiable fame on par with the Kardashians. 

Perhaps the twins' retraction from the spotlight has served to only intensify the public's fascination with them. To their credit, they've done very little to market themselves — no reality shows, very few red carpets, and even fewer interviews. At this point, we've only got ourselves to blame for our continued obsession with the girls who captured out hearts with just four simple words: "You got it, dude!"

Maybe one day Mary-Kate and Ashley will finally expatriate to a private island, accessible only by helicopter and Philip Morris container ships. Until then, we'll probably continue to pour over every strange, salacious detail of their fascinating lives, regardless of "how rude" that may make us. (Come on, you knew that was going to happen.)