"The Weekend Rent offers quick-hit suggestions of what to watch at home to get psyched for new releases in theaters, on Friday.
Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi play a Siegfried & Roy-inspired magic duo in Las Vegas who part ways just before a dazzling street magician (Jim Carrey) comes on the scene and steals the limelight in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, now playing in theaters everywhere. Olivia Wilde plays the duo's lovely assistant, who dreams of becoming a magician herself.
Wilde—who chose her stage surname to honor Oscar Wilde—often tops those "most beautiful woman in the world" lists in men's magazines, which means the 29-year-old actress has had to work extra hard to be taken seriously as an actress. She broke onto the American scene by playing Alex Kelly on the teen drama The O.C., but it was her role as the bisexual Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley with a terminal disease on TV's House that made her a household name. She played the character for 81 episodes and, although she left before the show's final season, she returned for the last two episodes.
Wilde left House to pursue a full-time movie career, which seems to be gaining momentum after a shaky start slumming it in cheap horror films like Turistas and the prehistoric comedy Year One. One of her first big-screen roles was as Angela Holden in the crime drama Alpha Dog, in which she plays the girlfriend of a young pot dealer (Emile Hirsch) who gets arrested while on the run with him in New Mexico. Attention guys (and curious gals): if you want to see Wilde go wild topless, this is the one to rent.
We wish Wilde was more in on the action in the Russell Crowe "I'm gonna bust my wife out of prison" thriller The Next Three Days, but she got her chance to be integral in TRON: Legacy. Wilde plays Quorra, a naturally occurring ISO (isomorphic algorithm) in the Grid who helps Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) navigate the dangerous virtual world and find his father (Jeff Bridges). Wilde played Quorra with a childlike innocence because she was an "evolving organism," which made Quorra more complex than just another sci-fi hottie. She lent her voice to play Quorra again in two TRON video games.
Directors must see something otherworldly in Wilde's angular, feline features. In Cowboys & Aliens, Wilde plays a mysterious traveler named Ella Swenson who helps amnesiac outlaw Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) in a dusty town where aliens are abducting the denizens. It turns out that Ella is an alien herself (humans just aren't that symmetrical) and wants to prevent Earth from suffering the same fate as her home world.
In the dystopian sci-fi action thriller In Time, 29-year-old Wilde plays the mother of 32-year-old Justin Timberlake. Before you start screaming that the casting director is smoking crack, understand that in the movie people stop aging at the age of 25 and the only currency is buying more time to add to one's digital clock to keep it from counting down to zero. Wilde's frantic race across town in attempt to reach Timberlake before her time runs out is the centerpiece of the underrated film.
Wilde's last edgy role before she works her magic in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is that of Liza in the crime drama Deadfall. She plays the sister of Addison (Eric Bana), both of whom are on the run from a casino heist gone terribly wrong. A car accident leaves them stranded as they split up and try to make a run for the Canadian border. Along the way, Liza swaps bodily juices with ex-con Jay (Charlie Hunnam) in a motel after swapping stories in a bar. Find your pause button, voyeurs—this is the second of two times that Wilde has gone wild and lost her top on the big screen.
All of the movies and TV shows listed above are available on DVD and/or Blu-ray as well as VOD services.