Eric Christian Olsen was born on May 31, 1977 in Eugene, Oregon. He grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa. He is the son of Dr. Paul Olsen, an English professor and head track coach of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.
His mother is a non-denominational chaplain who works in the cancer and AIDS ward in a hospital. Eric also has an older brother, David, who works as a stuntman on NCIS: Los Angeles. David is engaged to NCIS: LA star Daniela Ruah.
Eric was very active in high school. He was a highly regarded hockey player and in his senior year (1995), he was a staff writer for the Bettendorf High School‘s monthly newspaper ‘The Growl.’ Eric was already interested in acting back then. He had a principal role in nearly every high school play and musical for 4 years and even some of the high school plays when he was in elementary school.
After receiving a scholarship from Pepperdine University, Eric had to move to Malibu. His major: “Liberal arts-based pre-med, which is a liberal arts major with a concentration in biology and a dual concentration in English.”
Because he couldn’t afford the room and board (“That ocean view is kind of pricey”), he started acting to earn some money. He first appeared in commercials, followed by guest appearances on shows like ER before landing one of the lead roles on the Fox show Get Real opposite Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, who portrayed his younger siblings.
Eric is probably best known for his role as Austin, the cocky blonde guy, in comedy Not Another Teen Movie. He also appeared in The Hot Chick alongside Anna Faris and Rachel McAdams, before starring as Lloyd Christmas in Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. He followed it up with the film Cellular with NATM co-star and friend Chris Evans and with a recurring role on Tru Calling starring Eliza Dushku.
Eric has continued to work steadily in both television and feature films over the years. He starred in the Fox comedy “The Loop” with Bret Harrison and future wife Sarah Wright. He also appeared in Broken Lizard’s Beerfest and the Mandy Moore/John Krasinski romcom License to Wed. Eric is probably most proud of his work in the dramedy The Last Kiss. As director Tony Goldwyn put it, “I met Eric and it was like he walked into the room and it was like someone opened up the curtains and let the sun shine through. Eric approached the character and his sexuality and his approach to women in a way of like celebrating life. [...] Not one person did that. I really campaigned hard and said this is the guy.”
Since The Last Kiss, Eric appeared in several high profile films like the Shia LaBeouf thriller Eagle Eye, the comedy Fired Up and the horror prequel The Thing.
He had recurring roles on Brothers & Sisters and Community, before landing the role of Detective Marty Deeks on the CBS hit NCIS: Los Angeles. Eric became a series regular starting season 2. The show is currently in it’s fifth season.
Eric is married to actress Sarah Wright. They have a son, Wyatt Oliver, born on August 16, 2013.
Written by Gwen exclusively for ericchristianolsen.net. All quotes are taken from interviews and articles found in the press archive and/or the quotes page.