“I wanted to become an actress since I was able to walk and talk,” 13-year-old Olivia Jellen told us. According to her mom, Olivia would choreograph and perform her own creations every night before bed. In fact, she still has videos of toddler Olivia singing and dancing for family and friends. Now, Olivia has moved beyond living room performances and found her place on set. We caught up with her to get an inside look at her most recent roles as Young Angelyne on Peacock’s new show about one of Los Angeles’ most mysterious celebrities.
Executive produced by and starring Emmy Rossum, Angelyne seeks to tell the story of Angelyne the billboard queen, a celebrity that many Los Angeles natives have likely spotted in her pink Corvette selling merch and singing autographs. Famous for being famous, Angelyne’s life was a complete mystery until The Hollywood Reporter cracked her identity in 2017. Emmy described Angelyne: “She’s as if Marilyn Monroe got into an easy bake oven with a 80s punk Barbie Doll, and a dose of new age spirituality. She’s a trailblazer, a hustler, a visionary, the original influencer, a living-breathing piece of art.”
As Young Angelyne, Olivia brings to life the younger years that Angelyne doesn’t talk about. Who was she before she became the billboard queen? “Playing Young Angelyne was a lot of fun,” Olivia said of her role. “I was so lucky to be surrounded by the nicest cast and crew who made my time on set an unforgettable experience. I would come to set in the morning as Olivia and completely transform into Young Angelyne.” From wigs to custom-made retro clothes to blue contact lenses, Olivia definitely had to transform for this role. (You can check out the process in the Instagram post below.)
Olivia shared that she loved wearing throwback looks and taking in the complexity of bringing a character like Angelyne to life, but her favorite moment from filming the limited series was a little more chaotic. “My favorite moment filming was running through Angelyne’s apartment and knocking everything down.” No spoilers, though. “You’ll have to watch [the show] to understand.”
Working under Emmy Rossum was also something Olivia finds memorable about the show. The Angelynes first filmed together on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and Olivia shared that Emmy was “always so sweet to me and made sure I was happy on set…I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet and learn from Emmy.”
The real Angelyne reached peak popularity in the 80s, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still an icon. Olivia has seen her, too! “I used to see Angelyne drive her pink Corvette in Calabasas, and I was always fascinated. She looked different than everyone else. Her clothing and car were always pink, and she always wore high heels. I asked my parents who she was, and they told me she was Angelyne the billboard queen. They told me that she put herself on billboards and became famous and the myth was that spotting her driving around Los Angeles brings you good luck.”
Lucky for us we can spot Olivia as Young Angelyne in Angelyne now! The full series is streaming on Peacock now.