Olivia Wilde is America’s newest outlaw lady as the mysterious Ella in the Sci-Fi Western Cowboys & Aliens.
Wilde’s Ella is a throwback Western woman, with all the independence of Geraldine Page in Hondo and the smoking six-gun sexiness of Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead. The sultry Wilde bares her soul—and herself—while she fights and loves side by side with Daniel Craig’s Jake Lonergan against aliens in the imagined 1870s Arizona frontier town of Absolution.
Set aside the doctor’s coat she wears in Fox TV’s House or the skintight, neon-lit catsuit she wore in the film Tron, in Cowboys & Aliens, director Jon Favreau uses Wilde’s costumes, or lack thereof, as a way of evolving our emotional connection to her conflicted character. Wilde first appears in a modest prairie sodbuster cotton dress, hidden in common calico. As the film progresses, she sheds her modesty entirely in the most provocative Western film moment in decades, before she is perfectly outfitted for the final battle with her signature bowler-style cowboy hat, Colt .45 and riding coat.
Maybe her next venture into the Wild West outer space will be a remake of Jane Fonda’s Barbarella?