For her part, Ashley's last roles, though minor, were in 2009's The Jerk Theory and in Casey Affleck's 2010 film I'm Still Here, while Mary-Kate last appeared as the witchy character Kendra in Beastly. The fantasy film came out exactly a decade ago on March 4, 2011, and starred Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens in a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast.
Even though the Olsen twins haven't released a new movie in years, fans remain just as obsessed with the actresses-turned-fashion-designers to this day. So what is it that keeps us so intrigued?
Or maybe it's our longstanding fascination with famous sisters—look no further than E!'s own Kardashian-Jenner family for evidence of how much we love to see sisters succeed together. And now, Mary-Kate and Ashley have passed the torch on to their younger sis, 32-year-old Elizabeth Olsen, who stars in the popular Disney+ show WandaVision (hilariously, viewers are just now finding out they're related).
But what really makes us adore the Olsens after all these years? For starters, nostalgic fans have loved watching their childhood role models transition from Full House A-listers into NYU students then full-on fashion bosses. (They founded The Row in 2006 and Elizabeth & James in 2007.)
Allow influencer Alyce Peeler to explain. Back in 2017, she created the Instagram fan page @olsenoracle and has since amassed more than 120,000 followers, including Martha Hunt, Ashley Tisdale, Florence Welch and Ashley Graham. "I wanted to create a space for those who maybe grew up being fans but are now adults admiring them for the successful business women they are today," Alyce tells E! News.
She admires the It Takes Two stars "for their dedication to living lives true to themselves and not falling into the pit-hole of people pleasing," she says, adding, "They remind me to stay true to who I am and that's what I love most about them. Their impeccable taste is a close second."
Let's not forget about their hustle, either. "As adults they made the decision to live outside of the limelight and protect the privacy they were never allotted when growing up," she continues. "I admire them for how hard they continue to work, not because of profit—because let's face it, they could've retired long ago—but for the pure passion and drive they have for their careers."
Alyce, for one, feels time has flown by since the actresses last graced the big screen. Every now and then, when she's feeling "extra nostalgic," she'll go back and watch Winning London, Passport to Paris or Holiday in the Sun, she says: "It's like stepping into a time machine and never fails to bring back fun childhood memories."
Then there's the Instagram account @olsenobsessed, which has been run by Chelsea for more than two years from her home in Arizona. She recently asked her 17,000 followers why they remain loyal fans after so long. The responses ranged from their charisma and mystery to their killer brows and tween style inspo. One said their "strong bond as sisters," and another said "the nostalgia."
"I think people are intrigued by them more than ever!" Chelsea tells E!. "They live extremely under the radar and that makes people even more curious to see what they're doing and what they are up to."
She praises MK&A for having "remained humble and level headed" through it all, and admits she watches their films more frequently now than she did as a kid. "My daughter is 3 and she loves them," she says. "It's fun to relive all the fun movies [and] series through her eyes! It's all new to her."
While fans—young and old—are still binging their shows, don't hold your breath when it comes to getting any new movies out of the Olsen twins. They've previously alluded to the reason behind their Hollywood exit, with Ashley telling Allure in 2013, "There's a lot of compromise in the entertainment industry." Mary-Kate added, "I am not great at not being able to control the end product."
And, in 2012, Ash told Elle, "I wanted to work on other things. It doesn't mean I'm not interested in Hollywood. 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."
Their last joint movie was New York Minute in 2004.
Of course, there was hope we'd see them onscreen once again for the Fuller House reboot, which ran from 2016 to 2020. Though MK&A got their big break on the original sitcom—playing Michelle Tanner from 1987 to 1995—they shied away from the follow-up.
In fact, in 2019, Candace Cameron Bure admitted the team had given up on inviting the twins back for the final season. "We did not reach out to them," she told TVLine. "It was very clear several seasons ago that they did not want to do it."
Yet, there appeared to be some miscommunication. As it turns out, Mary-Kate and Ashley confessed they only found out about the reboot by watching John Stamos' announcement on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which implied they hadn't been consulted beforehand. Stamos later told Howard Stern he had called Mary-Kate "and told them I'd love for them to be on there and they decided not to, which I respect."
True fans, however, never fully expected to see the stars join the cast. As Alyce mused, "They've spent the last decade building a reputation in the fashion industry, and the idea of them reopening the door to entertainment seems far-fetched."
They certainly proved they didn't need Fuller House. The style icons have stayed busy professionally by hitting new milestones with The Row, including their CFDA Fashion Award wins for Accessory Designer of the Year in 2014, 2018 and 2019. And on the personal side, Mary-Kate has been going through a divorce from Olivier Sarkozy, while Ashley has been dating artist Louis Eisner since 2017.
Still, it's the precious, everyday moments that make fans truly obsessed with the sisters and their unbreakable bond.
Take, for example, their Kohl's press event in November 2019, when they were asked what accomplishment they're most proud of. Melting our hearts, Mary-Kate turned to Ashley and said, "Probably my relationship with you."