Olivia Wilde: quite a character!

The actress who played ‘Thirteen’ in ‘Dr House’ has now earned her stripes as a film star. The woman we would so liked to have played doctors with, recently played assistant to two magicians in the comedy ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’. However for Olivia Wilde, real magic is opening a bottle of Napa Cabernet !












In the film, you play a very sexy assistant to Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi, two magicians that are a tad corny. Were you fascinated by magic as a child?
I have always been fascinated by magic, and still am. When I was little, every year there’d be a magician at my birthday parties. The first time my parents hired a conjuror I was five. I particularly remember a guy who could pour milk by pressing on his elbow!

Say if a guy game up to you tomorrow and said he could turn water into wine, how would you react?
Well, I think I’d be a lot more intrigued. I’ve always thought there was something magical about wine, the way it’s made and the whole world of wine. Those freshly-harvested bunches of grapes put into a big tank, crushed to produce juice and then bottled. Sometimes years later those same bottles become great growths that sell for a fortune. It’s quite amazing to see that with wine, particularly the outstanding growths, something so accessible to begin with ultimately becomes totally inaccessible to the average person.

If you were to suddenly make a wine that you loved appear right now, which one would it be?
My favourite wine is a Napa Valley Cabernet called Scarecrow. When I drink even the tiniest drop of it, I suddenly get a glimpse of paradise. The trouble is that it’s very hard to come by. You can only get it shipped to you directly or buy it at the cellar door. A piece of advice: if ever you come across it at a wine merchant’s – which would surprise me very much – go for it! Buy up the entire stock! You won’t regret spending your money on it!

When you order a good bottle of wine, what is top of your list of priorities?
The first thing is knowing who I’m going to drink it with! Secondly, what am I going to drink with it? When I go to a restaurant and I’m served food that doesn’t pass muster, something too heavy, fatty or rich, I don’t order a good bottle of wine to compensate for it, to try and hide the shortcomings of the food. To my mind, the meal and the wine must be as one, they have to be playing the same tune!

So it’s either got to be a good wine or no wine!
Yes, I’d say that sums it up. A good wine always deserves a good partner! There is no ‘yin’ without ‘yang’!

Have you noticed that more and more women are involved in the wine, spirits and beer industry nowadays?
Yes, and that’s a good thing. You have to admit it was a very macho environment, a world where women had no say, where for decades their sole purpose was harvesting, treading grapes and sticking on labels! Their plight has changed considerably and nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find women managing large wine estates brilliantly!

When you talk about wine, you certainly have a very sexy way of doing it!
It’s kind of you to say so but when I’m standing in front of my mirror I don’t say to myself, “I’m sexy”. You’re only sexy, or not, in the eyes of other people. They’re the ones who have to label you (to use a wine pun!) and not yourself. Otherwise, it’s what you call vanity!

Does Jason Sudeikis (actor, impersonator and comedian starring in the Saturday Night Live show), your fiancé, think you’re someone…sexy?
I’ve never asked him because I don’t feel the need to. He certainly is very sexy – the way he moves, speaks, touches me, dresses… He’s sexy even in the morning when he pours milk over his cereals! (laughs)

With his elbow?
(bursts out laughing). No, Jason pours his milk from a bottle! He’s not a magician! Although, maybe he is… after all, he put a spell on me!


Interview in Las Vegas by Frank Rousseau, our correspondent in the United States