Elisabeth Moss is addressing her “misunderstood” faith in Scientology.
“It’s not really a closed-off religion,” the actress shared with the New Yorker. “It’s a place that is very open to, like, welcoming in somebody who wants to learn more about it. I think that’s the thing that is probably the most misunderstood.”
Moss, 39, who was raised in the Church, sympathizes with those who have preconceived notions about the organization, saying, “I’ve certainly been guilty of reading an article or watching something and taking that as gospel.”
Many have even drawn parallels between Scientology and the authoritarian regime portrayed in The Handmaid’s Tale. And when asked about the comparisons, Elisabeth said, “I would just encourage people to find out for themselves.”
“Obviously something like religious freedom and resistance against a theocracy is very important to me.”
That being said, she is usually mum about the subject of faith in her daily life.
“I don’t want people to be distracted by something when they’re watching me,” she said. “I want them to be seeing 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.”
Elisabeth also spoke about ex Scientologist Leah Remini, who won a 2017 Critics Choice Award for her anti-Scientology docuseries Scientology and the Aftermath. It was reported that at the time, Elisabeth left the awards show during Leah’s acceptance speech. However, Moss said she simply had to use the restroom: “I wish it was more exciting than that.”
Leah has claimed that she is forbidden from contacting Elisabeth, however, Moss said that wasn’t the case. “I have never been approached by her,” she explained. “I have never received any request to talk to her. So there hasn’t been an opportunity for her to say that. I don’t know her that well, so it’s not like we were friends.”
Elisabeth credits the Church of Scientology for informing her about communication: “That is probably one of the No. 1 basic things that I grew up learning and grew up using and use every day: the power of just being able to listen to somebody, of making somebody feel heard, of not belittling them for what they think or believe, even if you think it’s wrong.”
But former Scientology leader, Mike Rinder, who hosted Scientology and the Aftermath with Leah, instructed the outlet to not be fooled by Elisabeth’s transparency.
“You’ll hear a lot of Scientologists say, ‘It taught me to communicate,’ because it’s a simple, uncontroversial thing,” he explained. “Lizzie is good at communicating her roles to audiences, so you can’t say that’s a lie. It’s a great line to use, because it’s one of those things that you can’t really challenge.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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