Most known for her acting roles in House, Tron: Legacy, The Black Donnellys, and much more, Olivia Wilde is a familiar face and name to many. Although her name evokes many reactions as it was a sexy adjective, Olivia Wilde didn’t change her name with that intention.
When Olivia Wilde was in high school, her mother urged her to pick a pen name as many of their family members used pen names as they were journalists. Olivia Wilde decided to change her name from Olivia Cockburn to Olivia Wilde due to her admiration for Oscar Wilde.
Who is Olivia Wilde?
Born in New York City on March 10, 1984, as Olivia Jane Cockburn, Olivia Wilde emerged as the daughter of two journalists. Olivia Wilde has two siblings, Attorney Chloe Frances and Charles Philip. For her education, Wilde was a student at Georgetown Day School. She continued her education at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, graduating in 2002. (Source: Contact Music)
From a young age, Wilde already had dreams of becoming an actress, and after she graduated from the Phillips Academy, she pursued her dream of acting. Traveling to Ireland, Wilde attended the Gaiety School of Acting, which Wilde credits for refining her skills in drama.
In her time as a student of the Gaiety School, Wilde stated that Colin Farrell, a former student of the same school, was the poster boy for success to aspiring actors, with his pictures remaining on the studio wall and other areas of the school.
Wilde began acting professionally during the early 2000s. When she reached widespread success in Hollywood, Wilde earned her place in her school’s acting hall of fame. (Source: Independent Entertainment)
A girl came up to me in a coffee shop in New York and said ‘I was a student at the Gaiety School, and we just loved you and had your photo on the wall, and everyone dreams of having your career. That’s when I felt yes, that’s amazing because my time in Dublin, that’s really what got me to where I am today. I learned a huge amount from the Irish style of acting, and it’s served me well.Olivia Wilde
Before gaining one of her most esteemed roles in The O.C, Wilde landed a job in The Girl Next Door as Kellie. Wilde also appeared in a movie with Justin Timberlake in Alpha Dog, featuring Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis. In addition to that, she landed roles in The Black Donnellys, House, Year One, and Disney movie Tron: Legacy. (Source: Contact Music)
Is Olivia Wilde Her Real Name?
Many celebrities altered their stage name for various reasons. Some actors changed their names for significant reasons, including Olivia Wilde, who primarily changed her birth name to Olivia Wilde because of her family history.
Olivia Wilde’s whole family used pen names as they had numerous relatives that worked as journalists. One of the journalists in the family was her grandfather, who changed his name after becoming blacklisted as an anti-fascist writer.
With that said, when Wilde was still a high school student, her mother recommended she choose a pen name so that she could have an identity outside the family. Her mother suggested Wilde select an awe-inspiring Irish name because of their Italian-American citizenship.
During that time, Wilde was performing as Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest, a work of Oscar Wilde. Not long after, she picked Wilde as a new name due to Oscar Wilde’s impact on her and the world, admiring the writer for his profound and revolutionary thinking. (Source: The Things)