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Elisabeth Moss on Her First True Sundance Experience and Saying Goodbye to 'Mad Men'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 23, 2014 at 11:10AM

Only three weeks into 2014, Elisabeth Moss has already won a Golden Globe for “Top of the Lake,” world premiered two films at the Sundance Film Festival, and shot some scenes for the upcoming final season of “Mad Men.”
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"Mad Men"
AMC "Mad Men"

I'm sure your publicist was having a heart attack.

She was on a plane! This is what happens when I'm abandoned.

Did Jason recognize you?

Yeah, that was the thing – he was a big fan of "Mad Men."

You strike me a bit of a workaholic. Do you enjoy down time or prefer being on set?

Well, I feel more comfortable in bed sleeping. But I do like being on set. And "Mad Men" are my family. It sounds like a dorky thing to say, but my favorite place to be is on set and working. I love it. Otherwise I obviously shouldn't be doing it.

Are you staying so busy to ensure you have a sustainable career once "Mad Men" ends?

I don't know if that's up to me in a way. I'll just work on things that I think are good, that are offered to me. I'm maybe more in demand than I used to be. There's no grand plan or scheme or anything. I'm just hoping for the best.

Are you ready to say goodbye to Peggy?

I think it's going to be weird. I just don't think it's going to be real to me. We're going to finish and it's going to take six months for it to be real. I'm just going to think that we're coming back, like we always do.

To the character or to the working environment?

To the character. I know I'm going to see these people again. We're all family. It won't be the same context though. But it's really the character that's going to be weird to say goodbye to. I just keep thinking about the last scene, the last take.

Have you spoken with anybody who's gone through that experience of saying goodbye to a character, like Aaron Paul or Bryan Cranston?

I talked to Aaron and Bryan about it. They get what it's like when you talk about it. It's a very strange experience.

"Mad Men"
AMC "Mad Men"

What have you learned about yourself by playing Peggy? In my mind she's the character who's gone through the most growth and change on the show.

I felt like I was always a little bit ahead of her because she was 20 when we started and I was 23 in 2000-whatever. We were just very different women. I feel like she caught up to me a bit. But at the same time it's very difficult to tell the difference between what is informing you as a person and what you are putting into the character, especially when you get so close to a character.

Peggy is a part of my whole life. That's the thing that I experience with Peggy. I'll go back to a season, and looking back I'm like, wow, that's exactly what happened to me that year -- and it will be on the show. In a weird, subtle way it's the same thing. For me it's a very blurry line.

How do you want her storyline to end?

I kind of want them to come up with it. I've been surprised in the past in the best ways. I think whatever they come up with is going to be way better than anything I could ever think of. So I'm going to leave it. I don't want to guess. I don't want to be a part of it. I read it too. I watch it too, like a viewer.

This article is related to: Sundance 2014, Sundance Film Festival, Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake, Mad Men, Television, Interviews, The One I Love, TV Interviews





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