olivia wilde x nylon

the actress, activist, and denim junkie is on our august cover!

When I was seventeen, Olivia Wilde cornered me in the school cafeteria.  She was a freshman, I was a senior, we had never met, and she yelled at me from across the salad bar.  "Hey, wait!  Theater Girl!  I want to be an actress!" she declared.  She didn't realize the entire dining hall was staring at her - half because she was incredibly magnetic, and half because she was really loud.  Five minutes later, Wilde hijacked my lunch table, quizzing my clique (the senior art coven) about how, exactly, she could act in every single play that our school produced, like, ever. 

Wilde's grown a lot since then (and also changed her name - at the time, she was Liv Cockburn), becoming first a high school drama geek, then a working actress, quickly a famous actress, and now - with the imminent rule of Cowboys and Aliens at the box office - a certified A-List celebrity.  But despite the Hollywood catapult that's launched Wilde into star territory, two things have remained completely the same about the Washington D.C. native.

1)  Olivia Wilde is still inquisitively determined.  She's never afraid to ask anyone a question, and she's never afraid to go for something big, whether it's a huge part in a movie or a massive relief effort in Haiti.  Her focus and her drive are almost mechanic when they need to be; she won't give up on something she knows is right.

2) Olivia Wilde is still really loud.  During our cover shoot with the 26-year-old, she gushed about the clothes, she sang along to The Rolling Stones, and she chatted up literally everyone who walked onto the set, even our 19-year-old intern Bertie.

 Later, with deputy editor Ellen Carpenter, Wilde talked about her Cowboys and Aliens co-stars ("Daniel Craig is the shit and he doesn't even know it"), her text message peeves ("Three Xs and a smiley face.... Emoticon? Deal breaker!") and her skinny jeans ("they were the kind you would put on and swoosh around in, but then I got a divorce and self-medicated with food").  She also wore some of our favorite jeans, because this is, after all, the Denim Issue.

Check out some of our favorite outtakes from the shoot below, then head to the newsstand or to the iPad App store to read the full story - it's funny and complex and cool and loud, just like the cover star herself.