Actor Elisabeth Moss says it is “complicated” for her to be a follower of the Church of Scientology and play a fierce feminist character in The Handmaid’s Tale.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, the 36-year-old actor opened up about her personal beliefs and Scientology, which the critics say is at odds with the themes that her hit Hulu drama tries to explore.
“Listen, it’s a complicated thing because the things that I believe in, I can only speak to my personal experience and my personal beliefs. One of the things I believe in is freedom of speech. I believe we as humans should be able to critique things. I believe in freedom of the press…
“The things that I believe in personally, for me, The Handmaid’s Tale, and the ability to do something that is artistically fulfilling but is also personally fulfilling, I’ve never had that. ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ lines up so perfectly parallel with my own beliefs in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the things that this country was actually built on,” Moss said.
When pointed out that her religion has a history of expressing anti-LGBTQ views, Moss said she has a different opinion.
“It’s like, it’s a lot to get into and unpack that I can’t do. But that is not my bag. I am obviously a huge feminist and huge supporter of the LGBTQ community and believe so strongly. I can’t even tell you, in people being able to do what they want to do, to love who they want to love, to be the person that they want to be, whoever that is,” she said.
“To me, it’s a huge reason why I love doing the show. That’s all I can say. I can’t speak to what other people believe, I can’t speak to what other people’s experiences have been. That’s where I stand and the only place I can speak from is my own,” she added.
Moss, who has rarely spoken out about Scientology in public, said she prefers to stay silent about her beliefs because “it’s so hard to unpack in a sound bite or an interview”.
“I choose to express myself in my work and my art. I don’t choose to express myself about it in interviews. I don’t choose to talk about not just religion, but my personal life, who I’m dating and that kind of thing. So for me, it’s so hard to unpack in a sound bite or an interview, but I will say that the things that I truly believe in are the things that I’ve mentioned, and I think that they’re very important,” the actor said.
“I think people should be allowed to talk about what they want to talk about and believe what they want to believe and you can’t take that away and when you start to take that away, when you start to say ‘you can’t think that’, ‘you can’t believe that’, ‘you can’t say that’, then you get into trouble,” she added.