Elisabeth Moss Talks Having Full Approval Over Her Nude Scenes in 'Handmaid's Tale'
"I have 100 percent approval over all the footage, and I can literally say, 'You cannot use that scene,'" says the actress, who was offered full approval on her first nude scene from Jane Campion in 'Top of the Lake.'
"I've gotten over watching myself," Elisabeth Moss told The Hollywood Reporter as part of its Drama Actress Roundtable. I have to watch cuts and dailies all the time, so I am kind of over that."
She was most excited to watch one particular scene at the end of The Handmaid's Tale season two premiere for the Hulu original series, for which she has already won an Emmy and a Golden Globe. (She also won the Emmy for outstanding drama series, serving as an executive producer on Handmaid's. Her first Globe was for leading role in Jane Campion's Top of the Lake. She earned six Emmy nominations for her role in Mad Men.)
"We worked really hard on it, and it was a big deal," Moss told the roundtable of the gruesome scene and how she wanted to watch it with an audience. "There was a general kind of outcry and people squirming, and I was literally sitting there like the devil [laughing]."
"We were proud of it, so I wanted to hear the screams."
Handmaid's involves quite a few sex scenes (both consensual and non), and Moss explained how she has contractually added having full approval of the sensitive material. "I work in a really incredibly collaborative atmosphere on my show that I have never experienced. I have been in television for a while, and it's not like this usually, so I am very, very lucky. There's no hierarchy, there's no ego."
"I was lucky in the sense that five years ago I worked with Jane Campion. It was my first nude scene and she gave me 100 percent approval without me asking."
"Everyone should have it," Moss told the roundtable. "It means I have 100 percent approval over all the footage and I literally can say, 'You cannot use that scene.'"
Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Deuce) also has the same in her contracts. "And it means instead of having to negotiate, which I think is really strange," Gyllenhaal said, "you go, 'I'm empowered.'"
"As one of the only female executive producers as well," continued Moss, "obviously, there's a weight there. I have a perspective that nobody else will have and that's so respected and so appreciated."
The second season of The Handmaid's Tale starring Elisabeth Moss is currently airing on Hulu. The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Drama Actress Roundtable starring Elisabeth Moss, Claire Foy, Thandie Newton, Angela Bassett, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Sandra Oh airs July 15 on SundanceTV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.