Elisabeth Moss: ‘I played Peggy Olsen… I’m the biggest feminist on the planet’

moss cover

I’ve made my peace with Elisabeth Moss’s Scientology status. I think I generally give her a pass because she doesn’t prosthelytize for CoS and at the end of the day, she does really good work. She’s an extremely talented actress, and I respect the choices she’s made throughout her career. I’m just putting that out there, because for years, I can’t even breathe Moss’s name without people yelling “she’s a Scientologist!” Yeah, I know. I still like her work. Moss covers the latest issue of Marie Claire to promote The Handmaid’s Tale, Us and all of her other projects coming out this year. This is MC’s TV Issue, and Sandra Oh and Thandie Newton also got covers. Moss chats mostly about Handmaid’s Tale and feminism and babies. Some highlights:

Seeing women dressed as handmaid’s during Brett Kavanaugh hearings: Moss says it was “beyond something you could ever possibly imagine….It’s not like I did this to have a political platform. But at the same time, I’m an American. I’m a woman. I have things that I believe in as a citizen. There’s a responsibility there that I try to handle with as much intelligence as possible.”

Whether a Scientologist should be doing the Handmaid’s Tale: “If someone says something and someone else disagrees, they should absolutely be able to speak that opinion.”

On feminism: “I played Peggy Olson for 10 years, for Christ’s sake. I’m the biggest feminist on the planet.”

Playing Ofred doesn’t wear on her: “It can’t possibly wear on me. I have insurance. I have the right to certain things as far as my body goes at this time. It’s actually a privilege to be able to tell that story.”

On the potential of having children: “I’d like to have that experience of loving someone more than you could ever possibly love anything other than yourself. Of course you think about it when you’re 36. You’re like, How much time do I have left?”

On who she’s dating: “I learned you just don’t talk about it. Who really gives a sh-t whether or not I’m dating anyone? I hate to put that importance on it. I cringe a little.”

[From Marie Claire]

It’s sad that she says it this way: “I have the right to certain things as far as my body goes at this time.” Because God knows, in her lifetime, in my lifetime, in your lifetime, that might change. I sometimes feel like we’re truly one bad election away from the Handmaid’s Tale honestly. As for being 36 and wondering how much time she has left… she indicates in one part of the interview that she is seeing someone, she’s just keeping that sh-t private. It would not surprise me at all if she did quietly have a baby in the next few years, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if she just said “nah” to all of that. She does have two cats though, just FYI.

Marie Claire also did this cute video where she answers random questions by popping balloons. She loves Cool Ranch Doritos (gross), watches It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve and she would choose cheese over chocolate. Her answers are terrible.


Photos courtesy of Thomas Whiteside for Marie Claire, sent from promotional email.

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32 Responses to “Elisabeth Moss: ‘I played Peggy Olsen… I’m the biggest feminist on the planet’”

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  1. Wellsie says:

    “She loves Cool Ranch Doritos (gross)” WHAT??! Cool Ranch Doritos are spectacular! It never occurred to me that someone might not enjoy them. Horses, courses and whatnot.

    • Erinn says:

      I love them, too. It’s not like they’re a high class genuinely ‘good’ in the sense of being complex, or complicated. But they’re such a good garbage food haha. I do slightly prefer the zesty cheese ones though – the issue with those is that they stain your fingers so bad that I’ll usually grab the ranch ones.

      • bobslaw says:

        In Canada we have dill pickle Doritos. Do you have those in the US too? They are amazing. Sour, tangy, slightly cheesy. Bless.

      • Jess says:

        Wear a latex glove when you eat Doritos or Cheetos and the evidence won’t be visible on your fingers! Lol, I work in the medical field so I always pop on a glove and go for it, my coworkers laughed at first but now they do it too😂

    • Lonnie tinks says:

      one of my favorite garbage foods is Doritos, cool ranch or nacho cheese, just depends on my mood.

      • Some chick says:

        They brought back Taco flavor!!!

        Doritos, she gets a pass for. Scientology? Nah.

        I’m postulating that she just goes away. (And the rest of it with her.) 🙂

        As others have mentioned, feminism is about empowerment. Scientology is about mind control. No pass.

  2. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    When I read the header I thought: “Biggest Scientologist feminist, if that’s a thing.” Although, I do think she believes it. I can’t give her a pass, because I’ve recently watched pieces on Scientology and the way some adherents are basically slaves is too horrible and backwards and inhumane. But, I have hope in her as a person to see the truth at some point, like others in the documentaries who are now appalled at how blind they were for so long. That I think is human nature, that I have understanding and forgiveness for. Not that she needs mine in particular, but I’d be glad if all organized “religions” get lots of scrutiny.

    • AryasMum says:

      There’s no way she does not know of the Sea Org’s treatment of women, including forced abortions, abuse and neglect of their infants, and then the banning of children all together. Not a feminist, she just knows that some women see her characters as feminist icons.

      • Vanessa says:

        Come ON. I don’t like Scientology either but she was raised in that church. All religions have been and continue to be controlling and abusive of women in some capacity.

      • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

        Right @AryasMum? Much of the time actors are saying “that’s a role, not me.” Until they want some cred for the role.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “I don’t like Scientology either but she was raised in that church. All religions have been and continue to be controlling and abusive of women in some capacity.”

        and I was raised in Catholicism but I’ve been able, as I got older and could think for myself, to see that control and abuse of women you speak of…and you know what? I LEFT THE CHURCH.

        just as she can do even thought she was raised in $ci. that’s not an excuse to stay.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “I can’t give her a pass”

      nor can I, whether she proselytizes or not.

      she gives money to a disgusting cult that imprisons people, uses slave labor, and separates families. there is NO WAY that she doesn’t know about what goes on.

      there are a LOT of KKK and Nazi followers who give money to their “cause”, but they don’t speak about their membership or “proselytize”. would you still give THEM a pass? or someone who was a member of the NXIVM cult but didn’t proselytize?

      I understand it’s up to each person to decide what they can and cannot live with when it comes to being a fan, but being a member of $ci is one thing I WILL NOT look past.

  3. Megan says:

    Quote from L. Ron Hubbard: “A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out.”

    Sorry, feminism is at direct odds with Scientology.

  4. Lucia says:

    I feel like Elizabeth Moss is Scientology trying to insert themselves into feminism and it shows badly in this interview.

    • AryasMum says:


    • dj says:

      I still cannot watch The Handmaids Tale because of her being in it. Irony = a Scientologist playing in HT. It would give me a rage inducing head exploding event. I just cannot with her & her “idea” of feminism. Rant over.

  5. ariel says:

    Us was an amazing movie I have not stopped thinking about. And she was great in it.
    But a lot of the dollars she earns directly fund scientology.
    She funds scientology.

  6. SM says:

    I start to loath on her non response to Scientology question. It’s like she is programmed to always say the same thing. Also playing Peggy does not make her the biggest feminist in the entire world. It’s the overstatement of the proportions the president likes to make: I am the biggest this, the greatest that.

    • AryasMum says:

      Her characters are great, but she’s confusing herself with her character. Everybody loves Julia Sugarbaker, but Dixie Carter was a Conservative Republican who didn’t share any of Julia’s beliefs.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “Also playing Peggy does not make her the biggest feminist in the entire world.”

      so much this. you could play a scientist who discovers the cure for cancer…doesn’t make you any sort of researcher. you could play a Nazi who kills people for fun, doesn’t make you a Nazi or a psychopath. you could play a mafia don, doesn’t make you one.

  7. hal says:

    Just because you played a feminist doesn’t mean you are actually a feminist.

  8. aang says:

    Am I the only one that didn’t love the Peggy character? I thought Joan’s journey to independence was much more interesting, and it felt real. A brilliant woman propping up an office full of drunk men. Cool Ranch Doritos are gross but not as gross as Scientology.

    • Mumbles says:

      I’m with you. Joan made the most interesting choices. Peggy learned to work within the (sexist) existing system at the firm. When Joan asked her to join her at her new company, Peggy preferred to stay. I view her feminism as a type of phony “Lean In” corporate variation. And any time I see a proclaimed feminist with a Peggy quote or avatar on their social media, I know what crap to expect.

  9. mk says:

    Elisabeth Moss defends Scientology and for that I cannot stand to watch her. Feminist my ass. Scientology is still forcing abortions, so there is that, along with all of the other human rights violations that they engage in as POLICY.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      forced abortions, slave labor, mistreatment (practically torture) of infants, separating families…but hey, she doesn’t talk about it so she’s OK.

  10. Lizzie Anne says:

    Elisabeth Moss was born into Scientology. Leah Remini’s show made it clear to me that for someone like Elisabeth, breaking with the church means being completely cut off from her family. At the very least. I abhor Scientology but I find it hard to judge Elisabeth (or anyone else trapped in that situation).

  11. Catherine Page says:

    She’s a scientologist, but most organized religions are based on fairly old doctrine and thus hold dated views about women’s autonomy. I don’t hear these same screams about Catholic or Baptist actresses despite both churches having abysmal stances on consent and family planning. Her choice of roles says a lot about her personal views and I really respect those views.

    • Lex says:

      ….but this is a NEW religion?! It has been born in an entirely different era………

  12. Lex says:

    Cheese is infinitely better than chocolate

  13. Grant says:

    Cool ranch doritos are delicious, what’s wrong with you?!