Elisabeth Moss: ‘I don’t do anything, I don’t go to classes, I hate hiking, flea markets’

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Don’t forget that Mad Men’s Season 7 (the first half) premieres one week after Game of Thrones premieres. Lots of people are ignoring Mad Men because of GoT. As for me – well, I was ride-or-die for Mad Men for so long, and while I still think it’s one of the better TV shows currently on TV, I also think the quality has gone WAY down in the past two seasons. I’ll still watch it, but at this point, I don’t give a f—k about Don Draper. I just want to see what happens with Joan, Roger and of course, my girl Peggy. Elisabeth Moss is wonderful as Peggy, and I wish she would get more credit for her part in that character’s evolution. Maybe this New York Magazine cover story is a start – it’s a lengthy, interesting piece, which you can read here. She comes across like a completely normal and well-adjusted young woman. She seems like someone who I would like to be friends with, quite honestly. Some highlights:

She’s not Peggy: “I don’t actually work in advertising in the ’60s. I’m an actor. I’m just a normal person who worries and stresses about stupid s–t. I like to sleep in. I like sushi. I love what I do. I think acting is super-fun. I don’t think it’s something super-serious.”

Describing her job: “Acting is not stupid, but it’s a very strange profession, honestly. My job is to get up, and get dressed in someone else’s clothes, and go and pretend that I’m someone else. Who does that? Nobody does that. Strippers and actors do that.”

Winning a Golden Globe for Top of the Lake: She was seated at a table with Megan Mullally, Mike Tyson, and Helen Mirren. (“Very ­normal, every other Sunday,” she jokes.) When she caught Mirren’s eye, she introduced herself. Mirren’s perfectly Helen Mirren–ish reply: “I know who the f–k you are.”

What she wears & her favorite part of articles: Moss picks me up in her car for a drive to the beach wearing “beach clothes,” a loud fluorescent-pink-and-green zip-up hoodie over a short-sleeved peasant blouse, jeans with holes in the knees, and flip-flops. (“That’s my favorite part of articles,” she says as I write down the particulars of her outfit. “I always want to know what they’re wearing. I want to know what Amy Adams wears to lunch.”)

She’s super-normal: “I’ve been stressing about this [interview]. I don’t do anything. I don’t go to classes. I hate hiking. I don’t go to flea markets. I would like to do that stuff but I just don’t do that stuff. I was like, ‘I guess we’ll go to the beach, because that’s something I would do if I had time and wasn’t so lazy?’ I have a weird sequestering thing that happened. As a dancer, you don’t know a lot about normal everyday life. You grow up in this little world of ballet, and I feel like that carried on into my adult life, where I have blinders on to a lot of stuff.”

Second-generation Scientologist: “I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I said what it meant to me, and anyone can go and look at that if they want to know what I feel. But now it’s private, off limits.” She has previously spoken about how the church is personally helpful to her, not anti-gay, and “grossly misunderstood by the media.” But Moss does not talk about Scientology even with friends and seems very comfortable with how uncomfortable it makes other people. “I would feel the same way, honestly. I think if there was something that I didn’t know and didn’t understand, I would probably feel as opinionated. You know how you’re opinionated about when someone breaks up? Celebrities break up and you just feel like you know what happened?”

Marrying & divorcing Fred Armisen, who described himself as a “terrible ­husband” on Howard Stern, “a classification to which Moss nods in agreement”: “Looking back, I feel like I was really young, and at the time I didn’t think that I was that young. It was extremely traumatic and awful and horrible. At the same time, it turned out for the best. I’m glad that I’m not there. I’m glad that it didn’t happen when I was 50. I’m glad I didn’t have kids. And I got that out of the way. Hopefully. Like, that’s probably not going to happen again.” Their breakup made it into the tabloids, an eye-opening experience for her. “I always knew that the stuff that you read is not true, but when I was in the situation and you really, actually read things that you apparently said or did that are 100 percent made up … It’s just the strange, simple thing of, that’s your heart they’re talking about, and it just … it sucks.”

But she still reads tabloids: “I’m not perfect in that way. I enjoy a little gossip. I like looking at photos of celebrities going to Starbucks.”

Winning awards: “Nobody, unless you’re an a–hole, should sit around thinking, I want to be more famous and win more awards. That’s a horrible person.” Even so, Moss finds herself with more pull, and more fame, than she’s ever had before. “I had to actually have that moment of observing that I have to read the whole script and decide whether or not I want to do this movie, because if I do it, the movie will get made, and if I don’t do it, the movie won’t get made,” she says. “That’s new.”

[From Vulture]

Doesn’t she seem cool? Not, like, hipster-cool or cool in an ironic, so-weird-she’s-fabulous way. She just seems chill and funny and light. The Scientology thing bothers me too, but she is second-generation and I want to believe that she’s not a hardcore Scientologist. I love that she talks about enjoying gossip and how her “favorite part” of reading celebrity profiles is what celebrities wear to the interview. She’s adorable.


Photos courtesy of NY Magazine.

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68 Responses to “Elisabeth Moss: ‘I don’t do anything, I don’t go to classes, I hate hiking, flea markets’”

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  1. I don’t know–I wish that she would either say what made the marriage awful and traumatic, or STFU about it–just say that he was a terrible husband, you were a terrible wife. You’re divorced now. Obviously it didn’t work out for whatever reason. But quit talking about it.

    Because all I’m getting out of it is that she was too young and immature to be married, and that they (especially him being older) didn’t have the same future goals in mind—I see nothing traumatic about that. Sad, because love isn’t always enough–but not traumatic.

    When I think of traumatic, I think of physical and/or mental abuse. Other than that, I kind of like her. I remember her in Girl, Interrupted–my favorite scene of hers was when Angelina’s character is introduced—Lisa says “Hey Torch, you miss me?” and Elizabeth’s character says “Not much.”

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I thought he was cheating with that Abbey (?) girl, that was on SNL…someone correct me if I’m wrong…

      • Marigold says:

        That’s what I thought too. Which would explain why Moss doesn’t want to delve too deep. I think she’s too good a person for that kind of thing.

      • I’ve never heard anything about cheating—and if that was covered by the tabloids, then she just said that it was false. I think that if he really had cheated, and she didn’t want to bring attention to it, then she wouldn’t have said anything about her short marriage, other than the fact that it didn’t work out and maybe some generic ‘I hope he’s happy, etc’ comment.

        I only knew that she was married, when I read an interview when she first talked about her divorce–so it wasn’t like it was on people’s radar in a grand scale. I forgot that she’d even been married and divorced…she’s not big like that.

      • Anna says:

        He definitely cheated, they were seen together during the marriage and practically the day after the split was announced, they went public with their relationship.

        I see nothing wrong with her talking the way she does about her marriage/divorce. Also, she doesn’t talk about it nonstop, so saying she should “quit” as if she does is dumb. It’s been brought up twice interviews. That’s it.

    • Godwina says:

      She may have been referring to the divorce itself as traumatic (not the marriage). Which it is, even when “amicable.” It’s the worst fking thing I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve experienced a lot.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Agree. My marriage was traumatic, but my divorce was fairly tame. It was still one of the saddest and most painful experiences of my life, and yes, I’d say it was traumatic in the sense that your whole world as you know it is just gone, including many of your beliefs about yourself, your dreams, and expectations, and in many cases, including mine, your income, your home and many of your “friends.”
        Godwina, I hope things are better for you now. If they’re not, I promise they will be and you will be stronger and better for it. But I remember wondering at times during my divorce how something could hurt so much and not kill you. I hope you’re beyond that stage.

      • Fatkid says:

        @godwina & @goodnames, – I agree with you both 100%. Even knowing that divorce was the right choice for me, and having the process go so smoothly, it still messed me up. I think you ladies describe it well.

    • qwerty says:

      I recall the guy saying that his shit to be with cause he’s interested in you for some time and then he wants to break up with you but won’t do it and will play video games non stop to push you away…or something

    • daisy says:

      Maybe because it’s none of our business.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        If she didn’t want us questioning what went on in her marriage, then she’d do her best to not lead a line of inquiry i.e. don’t talk about it in a cryptic, vague way.

        There’s a difference, to me, in saying that the end of my marriage/divorce was traumatic, versus saying that my marriage was traumatic and leaving it at that.

        A BIG difference.

    • Sammi says:

      What are you so ticked off? She was simply responding to questions the interviewer asked her, not blabbing on.

    • Irishserra says:

      I’ve never been divorced or unhappily married, so I don’t think I can rightly say she hasn’t the right to claim her experience as traumatic. I’ve heard many people, even ones who are not melodramatic or actors (a bit redundant, I know), that divorce is painful and traumatic.

      I do like her. She seems like a bit of an odd ball, which I think endears me to her (or is it endears her to me – I always mess that phrase up!). I hope she doesn’t get swept up in the general attitudes of Hollywood as time goes on.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I think you’re being unduly harsh. Like others here, I went through a divorce which WAS nasty and it’s still traumatising even though it was that (divorce) or, if I stayed with him, probably something worse. Even from friends that went through an ‘amicable divorce’ it’s tough. Really tough. (GoodNames described it well)

      And you can be honest about something w/o throwing shade. My impression here was that she was brutally honest all around and has created clear boundaries around herself. Those are things to be applauded not criticised. But that’s my opinion — take it or leave it.


    • Nina says:

      How does she owe any of us details about her marriage? Sure it’s fun to gossip about and I like that she admitted that she reads gossip too. but why should she tell us anything about the marriage? Even my friends sometimes don’t say exactly what went wrong in their marriages. It’s called a private life for a reason.

  2. Amy says:

    Tom Cruise probably wants to marry her now. (She seems way too sensible to get sucked into that kind of mess.)

  3. QQ says:

    I feel so conflicted loving her knowing she is a scientolohole…. But that’s how it is, I Love her ( Ive hated Fred Armisen with the fire of a thousand suns since i saw his stupid ass unfunny impresonation of a Hispanic man in SNL…he is so goddamned unfunny)

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I feel really conflicted, too. I love her attitude and the way she takes herself so lightly, but when I heard about the Scientology…ugh, I want to put my hands over my ears and sing LaLaLa real loud so I don’t know that part. I love that she admits she’s lazy. Let’s kidnap and deprogram her.

      • Liberty says:

        I’m with you — I like her and her work then GAHHHHHH Scientology GAHHH.

        Someone throw a rope into their cosmocrap center and pull her out. Then hmmm — I know, send her to the Skarsgard house in Sweden and they’ll deprogram her with butt jokes and drinking games, and John Hamm and Helen Mirren and Cumby and HIddleston can come over and help. She’ll be clean and even happier in like three months. Then they can do a film about it! Cameo roles for Katie and Leah.

    • See, I love her and don’t feel conflicted at all about it. She keeps her religious belief private and doesn’t run around promoting it.

      She’s very VERY far from the likes of Tom Cruise.

      • mayamae says:

        But we didn’t know Tom Cruise was a nut until he changed management. Maybe Elizabeth learned from Tom’s fall from grace.

        I guess I just don’t understand why she escapes the CO$ taint just because she’s on a critically acclaimed show and gives cool interviews. Every celebrity in CO$ gets extreme preferential treatment, and they know that. If Elizabeth doesn’t know what a corrupt “religion” it is, it’s because she chooses not to. If she doesn’t know about the Sea Org abuse, it’s because she chooses to look the other way.

        Not trying to pick a battle with you. Just expressing my opinion.

      • So you’re suggesting that she got the Mad Men gig because of CO$? Highly doubt it. She’s f*cking fanstastic on that show.

        She gets a pass from me because I don’t hate celebrities because of what they choose to believe in, as long as they’re not shoving it down my throat. My feeling of disgust with CO$’s corruption doesn’t preclude me from liking an actress who subscribes to their beliefs. Tom Cruise promotes CO$ at every turn and has disparaged others who challenge him about it. I dislike him for his intolerance and his shameless promotion of this “religion”, not because he has a closely-guarded personal belief like Moss does.
        It might seem like I’m splitting hairs but I think there’s a strong distinction between the two.

      • ElleGin says:

        I agree. I mean there are aholes in every religion and nonreligion. It’s private.

      • mayamae says:

        I didn’t mean to imply she got the job because of CO$. I don’t think they have that power now, if they ever did. I don’t dislike her because of her religion. I dislike the fact that her religion is abusive, and she apparently doesn’t have a problem with it.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I’m with Kitten here. She can be bat-sh*t crazy but as long as she keeps it in-house, I don’t care. There are plenty of screw ups in every branch of religion and even normal people in cults. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt for now.

        (With that being said, all cult members get a serious stank eye from me though… And since she was raised in it she’ll think it’s ‘normal’. Leah was the same way until she had kids…)

      • Tatjana says:

        She gets a slight pass from me because she’s second generation scientologist.

      • Penny says:

        Scientology isn’t like say, Christianity, where you have people who call themselves Christians even though they haven’t been to a church in a decade and disagree with huge swathes of the religious doctrine. If she hasn’t left the cult, then she’s fully in it and she’s paying money into it, which in turn funds things like Sea Org. Knowing what we know now about the terrible things Scientology is involved in, I can’t look past anyone who’s currently a part of it.

  4. Drea says:

    I don’t watch Mad Men, so I didn’t really have an opinion of her as an actress until I saw her recently in the Jane Campion TV miniseries “Top of the Lake”.

    I came away from it hugely impressed with her – she was amazing in it.

  5. blue marie says:

    With the way she describes her job, which sounds pretty accurate, you know who else does that? Con-artists, only difference is actors get fame while con-people get jail.

    I like her enough to overlook the Scientology bit, she seems pretty normal. I’m like her in that there are a lot of things I’d love to do, but don’t *shrugs* the life of a lazy, procrastinator.

    • qwerty says:

      Do ypu like her enough to overlook the child slaves thing as well?

      • blue marie says:

        No of course not, but that’s a problem I have with Scientology, not necessarily her.

      • @ qwerty–Elizabeth Moss has child slaves?

        That’s like saying because someone made donations to their local Catholic church, that they’re guilty of raping and molesting children, like several Catholic priests did.

        I despise the CO$ but I respect the personal beliefs of others enough to let it be. Just don’t use your public platform to promote it and I’m fine with it–it’s her own damn business.

      • mayamae says:

        TOK, I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. Not all priests were abusers, and not all children were abused. We know that all of Sea Org is abused. We know the “religion” is completely corrupt. But assuming your comparison were apt – many Catholics found they lost their faith in the church because of the molestation, and chose to protest by leaving the faith. By staying with CO$, there is an unspoken acceptance of the abuse.

        I’m very tolerant of other religions, and respect others’ beliefs. This is a cult not a religion. I would have the same problem with the Westboro Baptist nuts.

      • In my opinion–where religion and cults overlap is in an institutionalized belief system. My point was simply that while one might be a cult, and another religion-both are susceptible to corruption and manipulation on a large scale at the expense of people’s hearts and minds. I’m not trying to come down on Catholicism in particular-simply using it as an example (mainly because I live in Boston and the scandal was really huge out here) but it wasn’t just the molestation that was the issue–it was the widespread cover-up from the clergy that is the most atrocious aspect of it.

        But I digress, my comment wasn’t meant to be an indictment of religion, just that I don’t have an issue with it if it’s personal, that’s all. She’s not touting CO$ in every interview of forcing her beliefs on others, so whatever works for her on a personal level is sympatico with me.

        I do appreciate this comment a lot and I love the way you worded it:
        “many Catholics found they lost their faith in the church because of the molestation, and chose to protest by leaving the faith. By staying with CO$, there is an unspoken acceptance of the abuse.”

        Agreed, but many of those Catholics still maintained their relationship with God, even while quitting the Church. That’s kind of point here–I think there’s a difference between being an active and prominent member of an institutionalized belief versus extrapolating aspects of that belief system and using it for personal coping methods.

      • mayamae says:

        TOK, I see your point, even if I still believe in mine. And thank you for the well thought out and non-confrontational response. It can sometimes be intimidating to comment on a controversial topic.

      • I totally understand. As an atheist, I try to be as open, inclusive and non-judgmental as I can towards all beliefs, because I don’t want to be *that* atheist that runs around hurling insults towards the religious. I try to be…an atheism ambassador if you will 😉

        But I guess I understand your point that she could still privately maintain those beliefs, while simultaneously disparaging CO$, much like Paul Haggis did. He admits to still believing in and using some of the methods he learned in CO$ but also bravely displayed his abhorrence for the cult in that amazing New Yorker expose.
        I guess my question is, how involved is Moss in CO$? If she’s funding it on any level through contributions, then that in and of itself makes her guilty of supporting a corrupt institution.

      • Penny says:

        No, it’s like making donations for legal assistance to your priest after he’s been accused of molestation or funding a Christian adoption scheme after it’s come out that they’re stealing children from loving birth parents. Scientology is rotten to the core, it’s not a case of it being a few bad eggs giving an otherwise acceptable religion a bad name, it’s a dangerous cult through and through.

        If she’s an active Scientologist, and everything that she’s said and that has been said about her suggests she is, then yes, she’s funding it. It costs to be a Scientologist, even if you only do the bare minimum (which would be extremely frowned upon), you’re still contributing a lot, and that means you are funding human rights abuses.

    • Decloo says:

      Sorry, I can’t get past the CO$ involvement. If she doesn’t realize and acknowledge what’s going on there then she’s got her head in the sand. If she chooses to ignore the church’s human rights abuses then that makes her complicit. Yes, she’s second generation and, yes, she’s been brainwashed but, in my view, she’s weak in character for giving the church a pass and then refusing to discuss it further.

  6. MrsBPitt says:

    She sounds wicked cool! Like someone I would love to hang with (as long as she wasnt recruiting for the cult)!

  7. Marigold says:

    The Helen Mirren story-gold.

  8. eliza says:

    I liked what she had to say.

    She does seem cool, especially for a Sciento.

    She is the only character I still love on Mad Men, which I am relieved is drawing to a conclusion after a few really awful seasons. Top of the Lake was awesome. Would love to see her in more.

  9. Lee says:

    I don’t know – the wackadoodle Xenu cult thing really spoiled her for me. It’s too bad. She’s successful, so is not a cult slave; of course it’s all great for her. I just can’t be a hypocrite and pick and choose which celebrities get a cult pass.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Oh, no! I guess I’ll go sit in hypocrites corner with my face to the wall. Lol you are so right, but I like her.

      • blue marie says:

        Don’t hog the corner GoodNames, I’m right there with you.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh, thank goodness, I’ll be in good company!

      • Lee says:

        Judging from all of the above comments, you have lots of company, lol. The cult really does need likeable famous people (like her) to soften their (deserved) bad image. She’s very, very useful to them right now, I’d bet.

  10. bns says:

    That cover is adorable. Still can’t believe she played Polly in Girl, Interrupted.

  11. Kay says:

    I really wish denim (and any other) overalls would go away and die. That’s all.

    • Esmom says:

      I thought they had, this is the first I’m seeing them in a while. And I am NOT liking this look on her at all. I get that they’re trying to convey “sassy,” but I really wish they’d found something other than overalls to do that. Ugh.

      I’m in the camp of really liking her/feeling conflicted over her Xenu background. She does seem at least, like she’s not trying to recruit, just saying that it happens to work for her.

    • EmmGee says:

      My 17-year old just bought a pair yesterday so I think they are gonna be a “thing” for awhile, at least at my house!

      • Esmom says:

        Ha, funny, I have a couple pairs from the Gap high up on my shelf in the closet, which I wore when I was hugely pregnant. In the 90s. I guess they might be vintage/cool now? Even so, I think I’ll leave mine on the shelf…

  12. qwerty says:

    Missed the last 2 seasons of Mad men. Thanks for writing about it without spoiling the series, rarely happens.

  13. Macey says:

    She was always my favorite on Mad Men back when I watched it (I gave up that show when it became the Megan show, not sure how it is now) but then I found out she was into the COS and couldnt get past it. Such a shame b/c she is very likable but maybe thats all an act too. idk, I just cant look at people the same after learning they actually believe that cult’s dribble.

  14. DIANE says:

    First off, she’s not ‘super-normal’ if she’s praying to Xenu. Yeah, he’s creepy, but I find her to be pretty creepy, as well. I’d love to know how much the CO$ played into the breakup. She strikes me as being seriously disingenuous.

  15. lucy2 says:

    She gets a bit of a pass for being 2nd generation, she doesn’t know any different, but I would hope that because she seems like a really smart and thoughtful person, she digs a little deeper and sees the terrible stuff they do.
    I really like her as an actress, she’s very talented, and I like that she doesn’t seem to take it TOO seriously.

  16. Sammi says:

    Why have you blurred out the breast area of the photos? I saw the pictures on another site and they didn’t cover them up. No nipples are showing so we won’t be offended!!

  17. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    I remember the Quaker gals wearing this outfit at yearly meeting back in the seventies.

  18. vangroovey says:

    I can’t overlook the Scientology thing, personally. To me, that’s like saying: overlook the corruption of certain banking executives (from 2008 times), or overlook child traffickers, or overlook “drug rehabs” that are merely a front to get people brainwashed into Scientology (True! Google “Narcanon”). Sorry, in my book, any celebrity who is still a Scientologist and has yet to publicly admonish the cult is someone not worthy of one iota of praise.

  19. Lipsy says:

    I don’t like Mad Men, I gave it two and half seasons and couldn’t get into it. Anyway, she is an interesting interview! Very fun read, I look forward to more.

  20. Memme says:

    She will forever be tied to my childhood because of Escape to Witch Mountain. I see myself liking her always no matter what else she does, and regardless of Scientology.

  21. Meg says:

    she doesn’t talk about her religion, even with her friends? that’s weird