Conversation With a Mad Woman

by Angel Cohn July 7, 2008
The Elisabeth Moss Interview

For those who are unfamiliar with the name Elisabeth Moss... where have you been? The talented young actress first caught our eye as Zoey Bartlet (aka the president's daughter) on The West Wing and now is rocking the small screen as Peggy Olson on AMC's Mad Men. While the show has a glam look about it, Moss' character is the dowdiest dresser and engages in little of the drinking and smoking and carousing that gets so much of the buzz. But Peggy's not just a mousy secretary, she's got spirit and spunk and is working her way up to play as a copy writer in the big boys' club world of advertising. She also managed to get herself into a little bit of trouble with the one married sales rep she did decide to dabble around with.

If you haven't been watching Mad Men, run, don't walk, to the nearest store and buy the DVD set which is not only spectacular looking but filled with such highly stylized fun that you'll want to watch this show over and over again. (Look for our full review of the set and all its extras soon!). As for Moss, she's already hard at work on Season 2, which debuts later this month, and was happy to talk to us about the challenges of playing Peggy, what the set is like and what she thinks about a potential Emmy nomination.

TWoP: Thanks so much for talking to me. I'm such a big fan of the show.

Elisabeth Moss: Oh good, I'm glad. Thank you.

TWoP: So are you surprised by the sudden success of the show?

EM: I know, and then it came out of, like, nowhere. I mean, it's a show about advertising in the 1960's at AMC -- which is a movie channel -- with no celebrities, [so it] is a little bit surprising. We knew the show was really good, and we really loved it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be a big successful show, so it was surprising and gratifying, that's for sure.

TWoP: So what do you think of Peggy? Is she like you, or can you relate to her at all?

EM: Absolutely. Ultimately, she's just a twenty year old girl, so I can definitely relate to her in that aspect, and there are definitely things about her that are like me and things about her that are not like me, or like any character that I've done. But I love playing her.

TWoP: Even though she's not the most physically glamorous character on the show?

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