Season three of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is set to drop on Hulu soon, and the show’s star Elisabeth Moss talked with The Daily Beast about filming in Washington D.C. and how it’s more fact than fiction.
In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian fiction novel from the ’80s. Women are extremely oppressed by a theocratic, all-male leadership. They’re forced to reproduce, abortion is outlawed, as is birth control. America is not a happy place.
And some feminists have seen parallels between the show and the so-called GOP War on Women. For the past couple years, they’ve been dressing up like characters from the show and protesting perceived attacks on reproductive rights at statehouses all over the country.
Moss, who ironically is a Scientologist, addressed filming in Washington D.C. and how the series is seen as a way to resist the Trump administration.
We went to D.C. and shot at the Lincoln Memorial, and I find it incredibly moving what Lincoln stood for, what’s written on the walls, what those monuments stand for. The principles that this country was built on are important and we’re losing them—and perhaps we’ve already lost them. You feel a sense of responsibility and you feel honored telling this story at this time. When you’re kneeling on the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial, you’re looking at where MLK gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, you’re in the outfit of complete lack of freedom, and your president is a few blocks away arguing about putting up a wall, you can’t help but feel that you have the responsibility to tell this story, and I feel honored to be able to express what I think, what I feel, and what a lot of other people feel through what I love doing. For me, it’s an unfortunate thing. I wish this was crazy, and I wish Handmaid’s Tale was insane Game of Thrones shit and pure fantasy. I wish that were true. But it’s not.
In the same article, she’s also asked about how Scientology contradicts many of the things she says she stands for when it’s a religion very much like the one portrayed on the show.
Right. It’s funny, there’s two things you’re never supposed to talk about at a dinner—politics or religion—and of course I’m doing The Handmaid’s Tale, which is politics and religion, so it’s a strange situation where you’re going to be asked about these topics. I choose to express myself in my work and my art. I don’t choose to express myself about it in interviews. I don’t choose to talk about not just religion, but my personal life—who I’m dating and that kind of thing. So for me, it’s so hard to unpack in a sound bite or an interview, but I will say that the things that I truly believe in are the things that I’ve mentioned, and I think that they’re very important. I think people should be allowed to talk about what they want to talk about and believe what they want to believe and you can’t take that away—and when you start to take that away, when you start to say “you can’t think that,” “you can’t believe that,” “you can’t say that,” then you get into trouble. Then you get into Gilead. So whatever happens, I’m never going to take away your right to talk about something or believe something, and you can’t take away mine.
People called Moss out on Twitter, saying her concerns can’t be taken seriously because of her religion.
Her concerns would be easier to take seriously if Elisabeth Moss wasn't a member of Scientology. https://t.co/oFrgGGfMjX
— Emily “Al Fredo” Zanotti (@emzanotti) April 8, 2019
Scientologist says what?
In many ways, Scientology is the Handmaids Tale…
Elisabeth Moss, like all Scientologists, is a major hypocrite https://t.co/lLLRGi1twB
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 9, 2019
This is just RIPE coming from an outspoken Scientologist. https://t.co/06J9KXbUJS
— Andrew Mullins (@AndrewMullins) April 8, 2019
Between the forced abortions, compulsory hard labor, and mandated family separations, her chosen "religion" of Scientology is a 2019 actual manifestation of what she fears for the future https://t.co/dIIlo8kFsW
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) April 8, 2019