Mary-Kate Olsen: "I Would Never Wish My Upbringing on Anyone"

The former Full House actress says growing up as a child star isn't all it's cracked up to be

Mary-Kate Olsen literally grew up in front of the cameras. But more than 20 years after making her acting debut on the '80s sitcom Full House, alongside her twin sister Ashley, the 24-year-old says life in the spotlight was not as wonderful as we would imagine.

Olsen opens up about her experiences in the new issue of Marie Claire, saying that she and her twin felt like "little monkey performers" as children.

"I look at old photos of me, and I don't feel connected to them at all," she says. "I would never wish my upbringing on anyone... but I wouldn't take it back for the world."

The former child star even admits that the friends she has now "feel sorry for us... because it's kind of bittersweet."

Olsen had a rough time for awhile in the tabloids, with her life constantly on display. She was picked apart for everything from her clothes to her boyfriends to her weight. She sought treatment for anorexia when she was 18.

Fortunately she recovered, and she and Ashley went on to take charge of the multimillion-dollar empire they created, thanks to an abundance of kids' movies and merchandise produced at the height of their fame. Today, Olsen says she sees the importance of tackling her problems head-on.

"I think it's really important to be able to talk when something's wrong," she says. "I learned at a really young age that if you don't talk about it, it can drive you insane."

As for their sisterly bond, well, you can bet that's still intact, as well.

"Sometimes Ash and I have to bring each other back, or push each other more," Olsen says. "It's really helpful to have another half; we're constantly checking in with each other."

And they don't have to go too far to check in, as the sisters are now cofounders of a successful clothing line called The Row, which Olsen says is where her new passion lies. Though she hasn't given up on acting completely, the once-omnipresent face finds it easier to be behind the scenes.

"It's kind of like a mask to hide behind," she admits of the clothing company. "I still read scripts, and if something great comes along, that's great… but this is my day job. The Row is where I go every day."

Would you trade childhoods with the Olsen twins? Chime in below!

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