Elisabeth Moss at her panel at SXSW 2019

SXSW 2019: Elisabeth Moss

Actress Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men, The West Wing) came to the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) festival and conferences in downtown Austin. Elisabeth Moss’s panel took place on Sunday March 10 at the Austin Convention Center and country musician Brandi Carlile moderated the panel. The panel centered on two films Moss stars in: Jordan Peele’s critically-acclaimed and much-anticipated horror film Us and the indie punk rock film Her Smell.

Researching for roles

Elisabeth Moss explains how she does research for her respective roles. She wanted to make sure she understood the characters she played and where they were coming from.

Preparing for Her Smell

Moss is the lead in Her Smell. She stars as Becky Something, a talented but self-destructive punk musician. Moss explains how she researched and prepared for the role of Becky and that she channeled off the findings of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, among other punk musicians of the time.

Moss does not consider herself fluent in music and still finds playing music terrifying at times. She compliments moderator Brandi Carlile for the work she does in her career.

“Party Of One”

The ladies have worked together for Carlile’s music video “Party Of One.” Moss starred in the music video as the lead.

Moss acknowledges all of the women working in the music and film industries.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Moss is currently best-known for her lead role in the Hulu original series, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale. Moss stars as June, who is one of many fertile women enslaved to endure ritualized rape for top generals and their wives in the former U.S., now called Gilead, a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

The drama is tough to watch, not just for its content but also due to the political climate in the country today. But the show has lasted two seasons and has received many nominations and awards, including two Golden Globes.

Q&A

Trump’s America

Male rock stars vs. female rock stars

Early days on The West Wing

Back to The Handmaid’s Tale

Taking on roles of different stories not your own

Advice for sustaining your art?

Her Smell trailer

Jordan Peele’s horror film Us will premiere in theaters on Friday, March 22. The punk rock film Her Smell will premiere in theaters on Friday, Apr. 12. And last but not least, the third season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale will return on Wednesday, June 5. Whichever you prefer, make sure to tune in to see Moss in action!

Featured image credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

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