Inside Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Private Lives Since Quitting Acting 15 Years Ago
By Antoinette Bueno
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
A lot has changed since Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's last film together, A New York Minute, hit theaters on May 7, 2004.
The film, which revolves around Mary-Kate and Ashley's characters -- the punk rock-loving Roxy, and the more academics-focused Jane, respectively, running around New York in a day and dealing with all sorts of chaos in the Big Apple -- marked their very last film together after a slew of successful tween movies starring the two of them. While Mary-Kate later had roles on the Showtime series, Weeds, and also had a part in 2011's Beastly, Ashley pretty much retired from acting after A New York Minute, only appearing in small cameos after.
It wasn't exactly the easiest transition. Mary-Kate was treated for an eating disorder in 2004, her rep confirmed, and later, both she and Ashley ended up leaving New York University before graduating. In 2012, Ashley opened up about her decision to no longer act.
"I don't have to be a pretty face," she told Elle UK. "I've done that, but now it’s important and liberating to be on the other side of the lens. I don't like to be the center of attention anymore."
"It doesn't mean I'm not interested in Hollywood," she continued. "I like the way it operates, I like the people who are involved and the sense of possibility. But if I ever get back in, it's not going to be as an actress."
In the same interview, Mary-Kate added, "It just felt right to move away."
Just how private are the 32-year-old Olsen twins? The two have no public social media accounts and waited until 2016 to share their first public selfie ever, which caused a stir when it was posted on Sephora's Instagram account.
Not only did the Olsen twins become much more private after A New York Minute, but their public image changed drastically as well. Both Mary-Kate and Ashley chose to focus on their fashion empire -- which includes labels Elizabeth and James and the more high-end The Row -- and became style icons in their own right. Gone were the trendy, more overtly feminine styles the twins displayed during their acting days, and in its place came more avant-garde, monochrome looks that had the fashion world taking notice.
The focus on their passion for fashion seriously paid off -- the twins are estimated to now be worth more than $400 million, and their collections are one of the few celebrity lines to be legitimately respected in the fashion world.
As for their dating lives, both twins have remained incredibly tight-lipped, and tellingly, have chosen to date non-celebrities. Mary-Kate has previously been linked to Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg's son, David, photographer Maxwell Snow and artist Nate Lowman, before marrying 49-year-old Olivier Sarkozy -- half-brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy -- in November 2015 at a private ceremony in New York. According to Page Six, the intimate wedding definitely had quirky personal touches, like "bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes." Mary-Kate later showed off her massive ring three months after tying the knot.
Mary-Kate and Sarkozy -- who has two children with his ex-wife, author Charlotte Bernard -- have been linked together since 2012. Despite their 17-year age difference raising eyebrows when they first got together, the couple has proven to stand the test of time. The two have been snapped showing PDA on multiple occasions, including in 2016, when Sarkozy gave Mary-Kate a kiss as he supported her at the Hampton Classic where she competed.
"It’s been 32 years of learning how to communicate," Ashley told WSJ. Magazine, noting that their relationship is "a marriage and a partnership."
"We have had ups and downs," she acknowledged.
Mary-Kate echoed, "We do everything together. "We came out of the womb doing that."
Ashley also explained being incredibly private despite their super successful foray into fashion.
"We're not product pushers," she noted. "I don't know if it's because of the way we grew up -- we just don't like talking about ourselves or talking about what we're doing... It's not really our approach."
These days, the twins let their fashion do the talking. Most recently, the two made a stunning red carpet appearance together at the Met Gala on Monday in NYC, wearing matching black leather outfits.
"People should do what they want with their lives, and when they're nine months old and they get a job, [they have a right to stop doing it]," he told ET. "I love them very, very much, Ashley and Mary-Kate, and they love what they do and acting is not what they want to do."
"People should do what they want to do," he added.
... We couldn't agree more.
For more with Saget talking about his on-screen daughters, watch the video below: