Elizabeth Olsen thought Instagram was 'horrible' before Ingrid Goes West

Co-star Wyatt Russell is also not much of a social media user.

Actress Elizabeth Olsen has discovered the wonders of Instagram through her new role in Ingrid Goes West, after previously dismissing the app as a "horrible thing for the world".

In the dark comedy, Aubrey Plaza plays Ingrid, a mentally disturbed woman who becomes obsessed with Los Angeles socialite and social media 'influencer' Taylor Sloane, portrayed by Olsen, and sets out to become her best friend.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron star admits she knew little about Instagram before she started work on the movie, and simply thought people used it to show off online.

However, she soon realised the popular app could be used for more than just boasting about a certain lifestyle, and she credits her Instagram role research with her new understanding.

"It kind of took away maybe some preconception that I just assumed it was a horrible thing for the world," Elizabeth said, "and I kind of started to understand it a bit better, and it being a device to share and to communicate and reach out (to people)..."

"My first experience with Instagram was through my character Taylor Sloane," she added, "and I was very bad at taking photos, and I followed 'influencers' and that was a new world for me."

Elizabeth's boyfriend in the movie is played by Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's son Wyatt Russell, and he admits he is also not too adept at using social media - but he loved the concept of the film.

"I've never seen an Instagram or a social media movie that had Twitter or Instagram involved in a way that wasn't preachy: 'You can't do this, you shouldn't do this,'" he told U.S. breakfast show Today. "It just was a story about what could happen if somebody took it to the Nth degree, and I liked the character because I sort of had a bit of him in me. I don't do Instagram or social media, not that I don't like it or think it's a bad thing, I think it's great, I actually think it's an amazing thing for people who like to do it, I just don't (do it myself)."

Ingrid Goes West, directed by Matt Spicer, opens in theatres later this month (Aug17).

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