Elisabeth Moss at Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 Finale Celebration

Elisabeth Moss Opens Up About Scientology, Calls It 'Misunderstood'

Home / News / Elisabeth Moss Opens Up About Scientology, Calls It 'Misunderstood'

By Favour Adegoke on May 1, 2022 at 8:00 PM EDT

Elisabeth Moss has come to be a highly acclaimed and iconic actress. She rose to fame in her role in "The West Wing" and then later went on to feature in "The Handmaid's Tale" as June and play Peggy Olsen in "Mad Men." 

Her role in the former won her an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series. Since then, she has appeared in movies including "The Invisible Man," "Her Smell," and "Us." 

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Elisabeth Moss attends the premiere of 'Her Smell' during the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival, tiff, at Wintergarden Theatre in Toronto, Canada.
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However, for her acting chops, another thing the actress is famously known for is her relationship with Scientology. Due to being a controversial concept, it has been believed to be a religion, a business, and a cult in extreme cases. It has garnered unnecessary attention over the decades for its alleged involvement in the death and harm done to its members. 

Despite this, the "Handmaid's Tale" actress recently opened up about her ties with Scientology while being interviewed by The New Yorker.

Read on for more details.

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Elisabeth Moss Says 'It's Not Really A Closed-Off Religion'

Though the actress has belonged to the Church Of Scientology for decades, she seldom spoke about her association with the organization.

However, she addressed the concept in intimate detail while on an interview with The New Yorker. She initially said she didn't want to "come off as being cagey" when speaking about the subject. 

 "If you and I met, just hanging out as friends, I'm, like, an open book about it. [But] I don't want people to be distracted by something when they're watching me. I want them to see the character. I feel like, when actors reveal too much of their lives, I'm sometimes watching something and I'm going, 'Oh, I know that she just broke up with that person,' or, 'I know that she loves to do hot yoga,' or whatever it is."

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Elisabeth Moss at the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'The Invisible Man'
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When the interview host, Micheal Schulmann, highlighted that her religious preferences didn't go well with most of her fans, she interjected that she couldn't control the way people felt, adding that "if it's not that, it'll be something else."

She added that even though it was a vague concept, it wasn't a "closed-off religion." Moss continued by saying, "It's a very open place to, like, welcoming in somebody who wants to learn more about it. I think that's the thing that is probably the most misunderstood."

She Had Previously Opened Up About Her Religious Ties

This isn't the first time the actress opened up about her affiliation with Scientology. In a 2019 interview with The Daily Beast, she expatiated on how she reconciled her beliefs with the character she played in "The Handmaid's Tale." 

"Listen, it's a complicated thing because the things that I believe in, I can only speak to my personal experience and my personal beliefs. One of the things I believe in is freedom of speech. I believe we as humans should be able to critique things," she said. "I don't ever want to take that away from anybody, because that actually is very important to me. At the same time, I should hope that people educate themselves and form their own opinion."

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She also defended her religion in 2017. When asked by a fan if the "Handmaid's Tale" and its fictional world made her think twice about her faith, given that "both think all outside sources are wrong or evil." Moss replied in the negative, stating that Scientology involved "freedom, tolerance, understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion, and creed."

Moss Cleared The Air About Her Reaction To Leah Remini's TCA Win

While her hesitancy towards talking about Scientology set her apart from other members of the faith, it also helped her build a reputation amongst the non-Scientology sect in Hollywood.

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Leah Remini at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards
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Leah Remini at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards
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However, Moss finds herself at odds with one fellow actress, Leah Remini, a former sect member who famously exited the group.

According to Metro Uk, when Remini bagged a Television Critics Association Award for her anti-Scientology Docu-Series, Moss stood up and left the room.

Moss has, however, come to clear the air and address the issue. As she claimed in the interview with The New Yorker, she didn't exit the room because of Remini's win.

"I went to the bathroom," Moss said of the moment. "I wish it was more exciting than that." 

Elisabeth Moss Also Addressed Her Profane Emmy Speech

 While collecting her award for her role in "The Handmaid's Tale" at the 2018 Golden Globes, she dedicated the award to the author, Margret Atwood.

"This is for you and all the women before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world." 

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She also thanked her mother for teaching her how to be "kind and be a f--king badass." During the speech, her use of profanity was noted to have been for a specific reason. A former Scientologist and friend of Moss told The Hollywood Reporter that swearing was a way Scientologists were known to communicate with "average people."

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