Olivia Wilde Talks ‘Booksmart’ Awards Buzz and Playing With Baby Yoda on ‘The Mandalorian’ Set

Olivia Wilde might be watching the Golden Globes from home this year, but she was ready to celebrate her first feature nomination for “Booksmart” at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch on Saturday afternoon.

“I will be on my couch rooting so hard for so many people, but I am particularly excited for Beanie [Feldstein] and Kaitlyn [Dever],” Wilde told Variety on the blue carpet outside the lunchtime celebration at Boa Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

“I’m thrilled for them. I’m so proud,” she continued. “I mean Beanie is astonishing in everything, but I’m deeply proud of what she did in ‘Booksmart.’ And it is such a departure. That character is truly such a departure from her personality. It’s even more of a feat than people realize. So I’m very proud of her. And then Kaitlyn [nominated for her work in Netflix’s ‘Unbelievable’] is just also astonishing. And her range is out of control. I call her my baby Julianne Moore.”

Of the recognition by Film Independent for her feature directorial debut, the actor-turned-director calls it “sort of astonishing.”

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“The Independent Spirit Awards have always, to me represented interesting new talent and people who are making movies for the right reasons and making great content,” Wilde said. “I feel so proud that we get to be included in that bunch and with the spirit of independent film and, you know, labors of love, which all of these movies are, and to be recognized as first feature, that is truly a recognition of someone who everyone else took a chance on. … I keep thinking, ‘Wow, I’m here because a bunch of people took a risk on me.’ And that feels really cool.”

Also “cool” was a recent experience Wilde had visiting the set of “The Mandalorian,” as her fiancé Jason Sudeikis made a memorable appearance during the Disney Plus show’s Season 1 finale.

“It was the coolest set I’ve ever been on. I was freaking out,” Wilde recalled. “The technology that they have innovated in order to create ‘The Mandalorian’ is really exciting. It’s a whole other level. What Jon Favreau has brought to the table is a whole new technology … It’s a whole new process. It’s so cool. And when I saw that Baby Yoda, I went over and played with that thing for too long.”

So would she like to helm an episode of “The Mandalorian” Season 2? “Oh, that’d be great. I would love it. I would absolutely.”

The 35th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards will broadcast live on IFC at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, hosted by Aubrey Plaza.

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