The Untold Truth Of Olivia DeJonge

The following article includes mentions of televised domestic abuse.

The land down under has blessed Tinseltown with a plethora of A-list talent. From Nicole Kidman to Barbie herself, Margot Robbie, there's no shortage of Australian stars wowing audiences with their seamless U.S. accents. Gen Z's answer to a veritable Aussie superstar in the making is the enigmatic Olivia DeJonge. The doe-eyed actor has been performing since she was barely out of kindergarten. From that moment on, she's made a name for herself with the help of the twist master, M. Night Shyamalan, and with her roles on acclaimed TV shows such as "The Society" and "The Staircase." 

Of course, with her onscreen magnetism, it wouldn't be long before the Hollywood big leagues came calling. With the release of Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis" biopic in June 2022, DeJonge is on her way towards A-list status. But don't expect her to let this fame go to her head: DeJonge is very much attached to her Aussie roots and is thoroughly disinterested in the trappings of a celeb lifestyle. As she once told Nylon, her idea of happiness is laying on the couch with her dog and enjoying a corn on the cob-heavy barbeque, as opposed to the glitz and glam of Hollywood parties. "This is going to sound very corny. But I'm talking about corn, so..." she quipped.

From being terrorized by evil grandparents (okay, on screen) to playing the wife of The King of Rock 'n Roll, the young actor is living the dream. This is the untold truth of Olivia DeJonge.

Olivia DeJonge's humble Aussie roots

Olivia DeJonge was born in Melbourne on April 30, 1998. As a child, her family relocated to Perth, home to other Aussie stars such as the late Heath Ledger and fellow actor Isla Fisher. Growing up, DeJonge had a strong support system who encouraged her creative pursuits. "I was lucky to have surrounded myself in Australia with people who were there for each other," she told Nylon

The budding actor attended The Presbyterian Ladies' College, a private boarding school, per The West Australian. Despite her loving network at home, school was an entirely different matter for DeJonge. She told PopSugar that she dealt with social rejection and feeling like a loner at times while pursuing her studies. "I know that feeling of getting dressed up and going somewhere and putting yourself out there, and how scary that is," she said. "It affects your body and your mind."

The acting bug bit DeJonge at a tender age. As a tween, she loved dressing up to entertain her family. "When I was younger I did lots of plays, put on shows for Mum and Dad, made my brother dress up in ridiculous tutus and whatnot to perform in front of them," she told Perth Now. "I think my pre-primary report was like 'Has a flair for drama.'" Per Vogue, one of her favorite films as a youngster was "Romeo + Juliet" — little did she know that she would go on to work with its lauded director, fellow Aussie Baz Luhrmann, in the not-too-distant future.

She started out as a child actor

Olivia DeJonge embarked on an acting career when she was a child. During an appearance on "Reel Talk with Ben O'Shea," she explained that her upbringing in Perth didn't exactly serve as preparation for her showbiz success, which she believed was an inherently good thing since her home city couldn't be more disparate to Tinseltown. She also highlighted that it was paramount she found her own voice before being propelled into the competitive world of Hollywood.

But from a young age, DeJonge knew that she wanted to be an actor, whether that meant entering the Hollywood sphere or not. "I can't even remember when I first went 'I want to be an actress,'" she told Perth Now. "It's always been inside of me." Prior to scoring major acting roles, she featured in dozens upon dozens of commercials on TV and radio, per The Times.

At the age of 12, DeJonge made her first onscreen appearance in the short film "The Good Pretender," in which plays a young girl who claims that her father is a robot. Four years later, in 2014, she headed to Hollywood to make her feature length debut in teen thriller "The Sisterhood of Night." The Los Angeles Times praised the movie's "decidedly strong girl-power message." Speaking with Nylon, DeJonge paid homage to the female filmmakers who gave the aspiring actor her first start in the industry. "That was my first real movie; I was 14 when I did that! Practically a fetus child," she joked.

A scream queen in the making

By the mid 2010s, Olivia DeJonge was beginning to secure her spot in the Hollywood big leagues. After discovering that M. Night Shyamalan was casting for his next movie, she sent him an audition tape, per Perth Now. The 15-year-old was shocked when she got a callback. "In the lead-up, I didn't understand what a big opportunity this was," she said. "It's definitely starting to hit me." Meanwhile, Shyamalan explained that he was set on casting the Aussie teen because it was paramount that the leads were played by unknowns. "I wanted fresh faces and, for me, their acting habits are pure perhaps because they are not as 'Hollywoodised,'" he mused.

In "The Visit," which was released in 2015, she and Ed Oxenbould play siblings who are sent to visit their eccentric grandparents for the first time. But as with any Shyamalan film, all is not as it seems, and there are twists and turns along the way. Soon, the youngsters are terrorized by their grandparents in a horrifying "Hansel and Gretel"-inspired manner. 

Speaking with DuJour, DeJonge said that the horror elements freaked her out at times. "There were certain moments when I definitely got lost amongst the set design and the acting," she admitted. "And there were moments where it was very scary and I had to take a few minutes just to calm down a bit." Her performance saw her gain a Saturn Award nomination in 2016, though she lost out to "Jurassic World" newcomer Ty Simpkins.

Olivia DeJonge struggled for work

Following the success of "The Visit," Olivia DeJonge began a brief stint as a scream queen. Her breakout performance paved the way for other horror roles, such as in "The Scare Campaign" and "Better Watch Out." But in the aftermath of these flicks, she struggled to secure substantial work for several years. She had previously detailed her difficulties in dealing with industry rejection in a 2015 interview with Perth Now, in which she divulged the extent of her failed auditions. "With all the auditions you do, there is a lot of rejection. ... I've done more than 70 auditions in about four years," she explained. "Early on it was hard for me because I'd become so attached to these characters and then you'd be told 'No.'" 

Despite seemingly having overcome these setbacks via her Hollywood breakthrough, DeJonge nonetheless floundered for a few years. This is perhaps attributable to that difficult transition period for many former child actors when they start attempting to secure grown-up parts. Accordingly, she once again began appearing in short films and had bit parts in fare such as Aussie drama "Hiding."

Eventually, however, the work began to steadily come in. She told The Daily Telegraph in 2017 that after navigating the bumps along her journey, the transition from child to young adult actor was fairly smooth. "I've been pretty lucky in so far as the roles that I've done have been a pretty steady change from child into adult or maturing teen," DeJonge said.

Giving Shakespeare a Zillennial upgrade

In 2016, Olivia DeJonge got her first ever major role in a TV series. She was cast as the main female lead in the pilot for the TNT miniseries "Will," a fictionalized account of Shakespeare's life aimed at Gen Z, per Deadline.

The part would prove challenging for the actor since she had zero interest in Shakespeare and always struggled to engage with his works at school. Thus, she almost turned down the offer. "Before I read the script, I wasn't interested, because I didn't like Shakespeare. At all," she told Nylon. "Thought he was boring and dusty." Once the writers explained the premise to her, she hopped on board. "If it could change my opinion on Shakespeare, it could probably change anyone's," she added, noting that prior to the writers' modernization of the language, Shakespeare's lingo had always left her confused.

But "Will," which Variety describes as a punk rock interpretation of the Bard, intrigued DeJonge, who was drawn to the themes of rebellion. "The guys had amazing leather jeans, which I also wanted," she said. "I always had a funky belt, or a funky leather jacket. So much detail went into the costumes." Starring alongside Laurie Davidson, who played the titular playwright, DeJonge portrayed Alice Burbage, a progressively minded love interest who gives Will a run for his money, per The Hollywood Reporter. In a mixed review, IndieWire pinpointed DeJonge's performance, declaring that she had a "star quality presence" and praising her character's infusion of feminism into the plot.

Fame isn't Olivia DeJonge's goal

Despite the public spotlight in which she finds herself, Olivia DeJonge isn't interested in the trappings of fame and fortune. Ultimately, she wants to continue with her education, which was disrupted by embarking on an acting career at such a young age. In 2015, she told Perth Now that she hoped to go to college and study psychology. "I would never want to focus my whole life just on acting. I love to learn. I love different things," she said. "I think you want to keep yourself balanced in this industry. ... [Fame] does come with territory, but it's not my goal at all."

In an interview with Nylon, she discussed her disillusionment with the parochial nature of the industry. Her goal, she explained, was to uplift indie and marginalized filmmakers, citing Oscar-winner "Moonlight" as an example of the types of films she wants to help make. "The film industry, for a whole lot of people, is about making money. And franchise films make a lot of money," she said. "It's up to everyday people, people who are starting out in their career, to get behind projects that mean something."

Speaking on "Reel Talk with Ben O'Shea," DeJonge said she loves acting, but is less than enamored with the Hollywood lifestyle and the pitfalls that lie therein. "It is a machine," she conceded, explaining that she sought to maintain her own authenticity whilst in the Hollywood sphere, which she suggested often robs actors of their identity.

Channeling her teen angst in The Society

2018 saw Olivia DeJonge snag her second major television role when was cast in the Netflix series "The Society." She plays Elle, a social outcast in the "Lord of the Flies"-esque series, which centers on a group of teens left to fend for themselves after the adults in their small town mysteriously disappear, per Deadline.

DeJonge told PopSugar that she was drawn to the role as she saw herself in Elle. "There are elements to Elle's story that everyone can sort of relate to as a young teen, especially when you have to put on a happy face," she said. "There's also the scene when she's dressing up to go and meet her friends and she ends up rejected. There's a lot of relatability in her insecurity and vulnerability." The outlet also noted that Elle is subjected to abuse at the hands of her controlling boyfriend, Campbell. DeJonge explained that it was vital for the domestic violence scenes to be depicted with authenticity, adding, "It's really important to show the psychological impact that abusive relationships can have on people, and how they can impact people emotionally just as much as they do physically."

Following a lengthy fan campaign, the series was initially slated for a Season 2. Per Refinery29, DeJonge and fellow cast members appeared in a comical video anticipating the renewal of the show. Unfortunately, "The Society" had to be canceled due to COVID-19, so fans never did get to see DeJonge reprise her role.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Olivia DeJonge is an avowed feminist

Olivia DeJonge has never made any secret of her feminist leanings. Accordingly, her beliefs extend to her work, as she has purposely avoided gendered typecasting. For many young women in Hollywood, roles are confined to those of the girlfriend or the love interest of the male protagonist. "As a young actor, I've wanted to steer clear of the girlfriend roles," she emphasized to The Daily Telegraph.

Speaking with Nylon, she declared that she owes her career to fellow women who uplifted her as an up-and-coming actor. "It was nice to have the girl power idea there in place so early in my career, all thanks to feminist trailblazers," she said. In her subsequent career choices, DeJonge has been sure to infuse roles with her ideology. 

For instance, she told Bollywood Hungama that her feminist ideals are central to her interpretation of Priscilla Presley in the 2022 "Elvis" biopic. Throughout the superstar couple's marriage, Priscilla has contended, Elvis cheated on her multiple times and exerted control over her life. This resonated with DeJonge, who wanted to illuminate the character and show that she is so much more than the erstwhile Mrs. Elvis. "She's tested as a young woman and as a mother," she said, "and I think her capacity to give was expanded way beyond what she thought possible. ... It only makes sense that after their experience together and his infidelities ... that she did step forward and say, 'Enough is enough.'"

Honoring the women of The Staircase

In 2022, Olivia DeJonge was cast in the HBO dramatization of the Netflix documentary "The Staircase." Like the doc, the series is based on the experiences of the extended Peterson family, whose patriarch, Michael, was accused of murdering his second wife, Kathleen, who was found dead at the bottom of the stairs. DeJonge plays Kathleen's only biological child, Caitlin Atwater. Initially, Caitlin believed in her stepfather's innocence, but after seeing gruesome autopsy and crime scene photos, she changed her mind, per Newsweek.

Speaking with UPI, DeJonge said she wanted to do justice to Caitlin, who became an outcast in the Peterson clan after renouncing Michael (played by Colin Firth). "It's an awful thing that has happened. Caitlin loses her whole family. How does one grapple with that at such a young age?" DeJonge said. "It's a lot of big adult decisions she had to make as a kid." In an interview with Hype, she lamented that the original Netflix doc depicted Michael's detractors — Caitlin included — as villains, but hoped to humanize her. "I'm obviously a bit biased towards what my character thinks," she added. "She believes Michael did it and you kind of need to honor that, I think that's your job as the actor, you have to step into their shoes."

DeJonge also loved working with Firth, who bestowed career advice, per The Times. However, she never met up with the real Caitlin due to her understandable desire to lead a quiet life away from the spotlight.

Olivia DeJonge is a high-profile brand ambassador

Having made numerous public appearances throughout 2022, Olivia DeJonge has been praised for her sense of style. Hello! noted her huge silver platforms at a special screening of "Elvis;" the actor channeled her inner Baby Spice with the snazzy Y2k-esque pumps. "It's great to dress her because she has such a range," stylist Chloe Hartstein told WWD. "She feels really good in tailoring and a suit, but she also feels great in a bodycon dress. She's not afraid to play within that range."

Basically, the actor's sartorial flair has not gone unnoticed, and she's subsequently been made a brand ambassador for luxury labels such as Cartier, having joined their Australian Pantheré tribe, per 10 Magazine. Speaking to Vogue, DeJonge said the Cartier deal was a dream come true. "My mom has Cartier, my nanna ... and hopefully when I have kids I'll be able to hand down to them," she enthused.

She's also become a jewelry and watch brand ambassador for Bulgari, per Grazia. "Their creations have been worn by the most beautiful and inspiring women in the world. ... I am thrilled and honored to be joining the Bulgari family," DeJonge raved. Accordingly, she wowed at the 2022 Met Gala — her first appearance at the prestigious fashion event — in custom-made Bulgari and Prada. While it remains unknown how much the star was paid for these sponsorships, it's pretty safe to say that a hefty net worth is on the horizon for the girl from Perth.

Has she been cozying up to this co-star?

It's pretty commonplace for co-stars to hook up on set (Zendaya and Tom Holland stans can attest to this). Being a rising Hollywood star, Olvia DeJonge's love life is now, inevitably, at the center of speculation. Once filming began on "Elvis," she was seen looking rather loved-up with dashing co-star Austin Butler, generating headline gossip in the process. 

As reported by MTV News in early 2020, the pair were spotted getting close during a movie outing in Melbourne. An onlooker dished that the twosome seemed "very cozy." Then, the Daily Mail published snaps of Butler, who had recently broken up with longtime girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens, sunbathing with DeJonge in skimpy swimwear between takes. Speaking with Bollywood Hungama, she praised Butler's acting expertise and admitted that the pair "had a really fun time" on set.

But DeJonge has never been one to discuss her private life at great lengths, nor one to let a relationship with a man define her public image. As such, she confirmed to The Times in June 2022 that she's happily single and not on the lookout for love. "I'm pretty focused on my career, but if it happens, it happens," she said. Butler, meanwhile, appears smitten with new girlfriend Kaia Gerber, so regardless of whether these two co-stars did get close, it's all in the past now — even if they did leave us shook (up).

A bright future for rising star Olivia DeJonge

With the hotly anticipated "Elvis" biopic hitting movie theaters in 2022, Olivia DeJonge has bright prospects ahead of her. Portraying Elvis Presley's iconic wife, Priscilla Presley, the project was a dream come true for DeJonge. However, her role in the Baz Luhrmann flick also filled her with anxiety.

Speaking with The Times, she admitted that she was left grappling with imposter syndrome. "That feeling that I didn't belong," the star reflected. "It was daunting to think of the scale and gravitas of it all." Moreover, DeJonge confessed that she was certain her audition tape was a flop, which made it all the more overwhelming when she got the part. It seems, though, she had no need to worry after all; when the movie was showcased at Cannes, her performance reduced the IRL Priscilla to tears.

DeJonge has emphasized that she wanted to handle the problematic elements of the superstar couple's relationship with care and sensitivity. For instance, Priscilla has often been referred to as a "child bride" due to the fact that she was a mere 14 years old when she met The King, who was a decade older. "A lot of people have different opinions — some right, some wrong," DeJonge told Vogue. "We'll never really know the truth. I think it's our job now to sift through all the information and pick and choose pieces." With the film being released to much fanfare, it seems that critics can't help falling in love with DeJonge's portrayal of Elvis' Queen. Long live the Queen.