Elisabeth Moss is well aware of the rise of female roles in front of and behind the camera.
The actress stars in and executive produces Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which counts female director Reed Morano among its creative team, and she next stars in Top of the Lake: China Girl, which hails from creator, writer and director Jane Campion.
But despite the recent increase in roles for women in the entertainment industry, Moss says Hollywood still needs to make more efforts toward equality onscreen and off.
“There’s obviously still work to be done and it still needs to be pushed in that direction,” Moss told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association’a summer press tour. “When you look at the landscape of television now and how much content is led by women and made by women, that’s where we should be going.”
While that change in the landscape has only come about in recent years, Moss said it’s been a long time coming. “The people that hold the purse strings … have finally started to realize that [female-led projects] make money and that people want to watch them and it’s a very obvious thing,” she said, pointing specifically to the recent box-office success of Wonder Woman. “They’re finally sort of just catching up on something that the audience has always wanted to see.”
Moss is joined on Top of the Lake: China Girl by Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones). Christie, for one, said the internet has helped laid the groundwork for the recent influx of female roles in film and TV titles. “We are interconnected and we do all now have a voice and an equal voice in the realms of the internet, and what’s being uncovered is that people want to see stories that reflect them,” she said.
For Kidman, the role on season two of Top of the Lake follows her first series regular role, on HBO’s Big Little Lies. Both series feature females in the three lead roles, as well as an ensemble where the female castmembers outnumber the males.
“I love that for the two series that I’ve done on TV, I’m sitting with women up here,” Kidman said of her second appearance this year at TCA. “Is something changing? I know that I’m not sitting up here with men. I’m sitting up here both times with women and that means that the roles are here, the roles are in television and that’s really exciting. … As an actor, you go where the great roles are.”
When asked what might be next after Top of the Lake: China Girl, Kidman said she would be open to returning to the small screen. “Would I love to do more TV? Absolutely,” she said. “Is it in the future? I don’t know.”
In particular, the Oscar winner said she would love to tackle a more humorous role. “I would love to be able to do a comedy. I never get offered them. I always get offered dramas. In this stage of my life, I am so up for anything,” the actress said. “I’m willing to fall flat on my face. I know how to get back up again. I’m willing to get back up again.”
While she hasn’t appeared in a lot of comedies, Kidman said she has some great inspiration at home. “I have a 9-year-old daughter who I’m sure has Lucille Ball in her,” she said with a laugh. “I’m learning a lot of physical comedy from my 9-year-old daughter right now.”
Top of the Lake: China Girl premieres Sunday, Sept. 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SundanceTV.