Within weeks of its April release, The Handmaid’s Tale became one of Hulu’s top-rated shows, thrusting series star Elisabeth Moss into the limelight. This isn’t to say she wasn’t famous before– Moss was a child actress, and made a name for herself back in 1999 in Girl, Interrupted. She also starred in Mad Men from 2007 to 2015.
But with Hulu’s newest hit series, which has garnered an impressive 13 Emmy nominations, Moss’s personal life, and her relationship with Scientology, has become a source of public interest.
Read on to learn more about Moss and Scientology:
1. Moss’s Response to an Instagram Comment About Scientology Sparked Public Discussion
Moss has remained relatively quiet about her beliefs when it comes to Scientology. In August, however, a fan left a comment on an Instagram photo that led to a rare response in which Moss defended Scientology.
The user questioned if there was a parallel between Scientology and Gilead, the brutal regime that takes over the US in the Hulu show. “Love this adaptation so much. Question though, does it make you think twice about scientology? Gilead and Scientology both believe that all outside sources (aka news) are wrong and evil… it’s just very interesting.”
That’s actually not true at all about Scientology. Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equals rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me. The most important things to me probably. And so Gilead and THT hit me on a very personal level. Thanks for the interesting question!
2. She Was Introduced to Scientology by Her Family
In 2012, Moss discussed Scientology in an interview with The Telegraph.
She explained that although her family introduced her to Scientology, it was her own decision to embrace it. “Some people say that yoga really helps them to feel centered. And some people feel that being vegan… something that makes them more of themselves. Or Kaballah. Or there’s Buddhism or whatever. I mean, I think that for me it’s one thing that has helped me at times, and it’s kind of as simple as that.”
3. Leah Remini Says Moss Isn’t Allowed to Talk to Her
At tonight’s Emmy’s, Leah Remini has been nominated for her A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which cautions audiences against the dangers of Scientology. The fact that Remini and Moss have both been nominated has caused a stir in the media recently.
In a recent interview with US Magazine, Remini said:
Elisabeth Moss believes that she can’t talk to me… There’s a thing in Scientology called ‘acceptable truth.’ It means you only say what’s acceptable to the public. But she believes that I’m an antisocial personality — because I’ve spoken out against Scientology. So she isn’t allowed to talk to me. And me knowing that, I wouldn’t put her in the awkward position.
According to the tweet above from one of the event’s attendees, Moss left the room at the Television Critics Association Awards in early August when Remini stood to accept her award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming.
4. She Has Said Scientology Makes Her a ‘Better Version of Herself’
In 2013, Moss made an exception by discussing Scientology in an interview with Rolling Stone’s Pete Travers.
In the interview, Travers asked Moss how she benefits from Scientology. She told him that her religion “gives her stability and makes her feel like a better version of herself.” Moss later added, “I think that’s a good way of saying it, because there is so much focus on the, I guess, empowerment and, sort of, respecting yourself, and yourself as an individual.”
Moss said that although she is committed to her faith, she still searches for advice in other places. “My friends may give me great advice or I’ll talk with my mother.”
5. She Recently Collaborated with Former Scientologist Nicole Kidman on ‘Top of the Lake’
The fact that Moss recently collaborated with Nicole Kidman– who the Church of Scientology has said is a “suppressive person”– has been a source of confusion to many. The two starred opposite one another in season 2 of the Sundance show.
Actress Nicole Kidman was married to Tom Cruise from 1990 to 2001. Though Kidman has been reluctant to discuss the religion since her split from Cruise, it is widely believed that while he wanted their children to be raised as Scientologists, Kidman did not. The Sundance documentary, Going Clear, even alleged that the Church of Scientology used “intimidation tactics” to cause Cruise and Kidman’s breakup. Marty Rathbun, a former 2nd-highest ranking official in the Church, stated in the documentary that David Miscavige told him to facilitate the A-list couple’s breakup.
In a recent article, the Huffington Post writes, “Moss doesn’t have to talk about her personal life if she doesn’t want to. But of all the Instagram comments in the world, she picked this one to respond to. And of all the brilliant actresses in the world, she agreed to co-star with Kidman.”