Elisabeth Moss: Mad About the Woman
BY Brandon Voss
March 23 2012 2:30 AM ET
You earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for playing Jessie, a pregnant Catholic teen, in Deborah Kampmeier’s 2003 drama Virgin. At one point, Jessie pursues a sexual relationship with a woman played by Daphne Rubin-Vega. How did you see Jessie’s sexuality?
I think she wanted to be loved and appreciated by anyone. That scene was really about having a sexual awakening and reconnecting with her body. Daphne’s character was very nurturing, so it was less about Jessie being gay, straight, or bi and more about her being taken care of by someone who happened to be a woman. A woman would’ve been more sensitive to Jessie’s needs, as opposed to a man.
As a Scientologist, how do you interpret your church’s stance on gay people?
One of the most important things I take from my church is the idea of personal freedom and our rights as human beings, and that includes the right to date a man or a woman. Personal freedom is a very important concept in my religion, and I translate that to sexual orientation. If we’re all supposed to have the right to the life that we want to lead, then that should apply to the gay community. There isn’t really any dogma or scripture, yes or no, right or wrong on that particular subject in my church. It’s more open to personal interpretation, and that’s my interpretation.
Is it fair to say that your church’s stance on homosexuality is misunderstood by the media?
Many of my church’s stances and concepts are grossly misunderstood by the media. It’s a long list.
Growing up as a child actor with musician parents in Los Angeles, you must have been exposed to gay people from a young age.
Yeah. Being a ballet dancer for many years, I was surrounded by gay men. My first exposure to the gay community was probably when I couldn’t find a straight guy to date. [Laughs] I was lucky to be a part of a very artistic, progressive community, so I’ve never really seen the distinction between gay people and straight people. I’ve always been around gay people, so it’s never been a big deal.