I’ve been unapologetic in my love for Elisabeth Moss for a while. I know she’s a Scientologist and everything, but… she was raised in the cult and I get the feeling that she’s not super-involved in it. She doesn’t even live in LA anymore, she lives in New York (further away from the CoS’s centers in LA and Clearwater, FL). While I’m wary of loving Scientologists, I’ll make an exception for Moss, mostly because she’s turned out to be one of the most talented actresses of her generation. Moss currently stars in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and I didn’t know before now that she was also a hands-on producer of the series too. To promote the project, Moss gave a lengthy, charming, funny and incredibly normal interview to Vulture. When I say “normal,” I mean that Moss always comes across as completely unaffected, like she’s truly the girl next door. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
Her life goals: “I’m like an 82-year-old woman. I live in my Upper West Side apartment alone with my two cats, and I love it,” Moss says, referring to the two orange tabbys, Ethel and Lucy, she adopted as strays. “I shouldn’t even be telling this story. My publicist would be like, ‘Are you trying to ruin everything?’ But I was in Duane Reade when I was really sick the other day and I was dressed in god knows what, just terrible sweats and hat and jacket. I was sniffling, and I was rolling my Duane Reade cart around and buying Kleenex and cat food — the worst, most embarrassing stuff — and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I literally have become an old lady on the Upper West Side. This is amazing!’”
She’s wearing one of her many Chicago Cubs shirts & a diamond ring: “It’s on an appropriate finger for me seeing that I’m single.” She gifted it to herself after she won her Golden Globe. “This sounds so potentially lame, but January Jones taught me this: to buy jewelry for yourself. That way it’s never like, ‘Oh, a man got me this so I can’t wear it now that we’ve broken up.’”
She was offered The Handmaid’s Tale flat-out: “I auditioned for Mad Men, I auditioned for Top of the Lake, I obviously auditioned for West Wing, so I still get excited when I get offered stuff. Like, a part of me thinks, They think I can do it! That’s awesome! And that’s a part of me I have to squash, otherwise I would do everything just because people gave it to me.”
Post-production on THT: “Literally this is what I do every day. I wake up, I make myself coffee, I feed the cats, then I turn on The Handmaid’s Tale, and I watch whatever cut I’m supposed to watch of the show. People get up and read the New York Times, and I wake up and I’m like, ‘Time to watch The Handmaid’s Tale!’”
How she evolved into a feminist: “I was born. I was born, and then I was a feminist.”
What would have happened between Mad Men’s Peggy & Stan? “I would like to think they get married and have kids, because I think she would have made a great mom. In my imagination, they have a great modern relationship where they both continue working. Or I could see Stan staying at home with the kids.” The way Moss sees Peggy is as an extreme pragmatist who became an “accidental feminist,” someone from an old-fashioned background who was just very confused, from a logical standpoint, about why she wasn’t getting paid the same as men. “She didn’t set out going like, ‘I’m going to fight for equal pay and I’m going to get promoted and I’m going to have everything that men have. She was like, ‘Wait, what? I thought you like what I wrote and now you pay me for what I did, right?’” (If Peggy were real and alive today, Moss is also certain she would’ve been a Hillary Clinton supporter. “It’s a no-brainer.”)
Becoming an equal-pay advocate after reading J-Law’s letter: “There’s this whole feeling that women should be small and quiet and polite, and I don’t think that’s really gotten us anywhere.” Still, she’s glad she pays people to ask for raises for her. “I can’t imagine how hard that would be. I’m so afraid of confrontation.”
I mean… her life sounds pretty cool. Cool apartment, cool cats, cool job that challenges her and excites her. She says towards the end that she does want to become a mother at some point, and she sounds pretty open to adoption and other options too, and I get the impression that she’s single. Oh, and here’s some other stuff I learned: she insisted that Handmaid’s producers hire Reed Morano as cinematographer because Morano did Beyonce’s Lemonade (amazing) and Moss also fought for Handmaid’s episodes to be mostly directed by women.
My one disagreement: I don’t think Peggy and Stan would have kids, honestly. I think they would work and have fun and maybe get some cats. And that’s fine too.
Photos courtesy of WENN.