When “Mad Men” finally returns on April 13th, Elisabeth Moss — the 31-year-old actress who plays Peggy — will be the focus of the show’s plot line just as much as Jon Hamm’s Don Draper character.
Nominated for an Emmy for playing Peggy four times, Moss’ personal life is a bit more of a mystery.
In a new interview with New York Magazine, Moss opened up about growing up a Scientologist, her divorce from Fred Armisen, and the TV shows she watches in her free time.
Here are the 8 most interesting things we learned about “Lizzie,” as Moss is called by her inner circle.
1. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner had a plan for Peggy all along:
“In the opening credits, my name is after Jon Hamm’s, who stars as Draper. But when I did the pilot I was not necessarily in that position. I’m No. 4 on the call sheet. But Matt put me second in the credits. I guess he knew what was going to happen.”
2. She thinks acting is “very strange”:
“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.”
3. Her heartbeat actually accelerates while filming:
“She’s not one of those actresses who is walking around with her headphones listening to Nine Inch Nails to get into a scene,” says her “The One I Love” co-star, Mark Duplass. “She’s joking around casually and then you yell ‘Action’ and her heartbeat goes to 150 beats per minute.” The heart rate may be an exaggeration, but the massive spike is not: On ‘The One I Love,’ her mike had to be changed and moved so it wouldn’t pick up its sound.”
4. She is a bit of a hermit:
“I have a weird sequestering thing that happened. As a [child] 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.”
“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.”
5. She watches a lot of TV:
Her favourite shows include: “Scandal,” “Parenthood,” “Nashville,” and “The Good Wife.”
“Her Instagram handle references a Real Housewife — and she wound down every evening while shooting ‘Top of the Lake’ by binge-watching ‘The Sopranos.'”
6. She started acting at age 5:
“She was born in Los Angeles, her mother a harmonica player, her father a music manager, and she was raised in what she sheepishly describes as a very lax academic environment, with her parents putting a serious premium on the arts. Her first real role came in a before — Sandra Bullock — was — Sandra Bullock mini-series, and she later played Baby Louise in a TV version of Gypsy starring Bette Midler — Moss has been attracted to serious characters from the beginning. But between the ages of 11 and 14, she focused on ballet.”
7. She was raised in the church of Scientology:
“I’m not going to talk about it anymore,” she says firmly. “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,” she says. “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?”
8. She had a “horrible” divorce from Fred Armisen after 8 months of marriage:
“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.”
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