Elisabeth Moss: Mad About the Woman

Jane Lynch hit on her, Bette Midler yelled at her, and she’s followed in Madonna’s footsteps.

BY Brandon Voss

March 23 2012 1:30 AM ET

Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men X390 (AMC) | ADVOCATE.COM Will Peggy continue hanging out with Joyce? Are there other gay storylines that you can tease in the upcoming season?
I can’t, really. That’s a little too specific for [series creator and executive producer] Matt Weiner’s tastes. But you need to remember that it’s the 1960s in New York City, so gay visibility is something that’s going to be more and more prevalent as time goes on.

Many gay viewers miss Sal Romano, Bryan Batt’s closeted gay art director.
I miss Bryan too, as a friend. I thought that was an incredible storyline, and I’m glad that we had it. But the truth is that what happened to Sal is what really would’ve happened: Unfortunately, he would’ve left the agency. As much as his presence on the show is missed, that was an important story to tell.

You starred as schoolmistress Martha Dobie opposite Keira Knightley in last year’s revival of The Children’s Hour, Lillian Hellman’s seminal lesbian-themed 1934 drama, in London’s West End. After a student accuses her of an impure relationship with her friend, Martha confronts her true feelings and ultimately commits suicide. What did you take away from the role?
I signed on to do The Children’s Hour because it’s a great play. I didn’t sign on to make some sort of statement, and I didn’t look at it as a lesbian story. But once I got involved in the project, I realized the impact that play had on the gay community, and I understood how much it meant to them. Gay people would tell me how excited they were, how important it was for us to tell that story, and then they’d just be in tears after the show. I ended up feeling so privileged and honored to be a part of it. The shocking and terrible thing, of course, is that the play is still so relevant today.

The press tended to sensationalize the project with headlines like, “Elisabeth Moss and Keira Knightley Play Lesbian Lovers!” Was that a surprise?
People sometimes tend to have a really small view of things, so yeah, it was kind of expected.

Is there still a chance that the production will come to Broadway?
The fact that it hasn’t transferred isn’t because of anyone’s unwillingness to do it. It’s just a matter of scheduling, because it’s difficult to bring together all those people again. It’s definitely something we all want to do, and Broadway producers are definitely interested. So we’ll see.

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