The Book Life of Elisabeth Moss


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My introduction to Elisabeth Moss was her run as President Bartlett’s daughter in The West Wing. She had already been working for nearly a decade by then and continued to star in increasingly popular and award-winning shows and movies in the decades that followed.

Although Moss is very tight-lipped about her life and has revealed few bookish facts, the sheer number of bookish projects she has been involved in makes it hard to imagine that she isn’t really a bookish person.

Born on July 24, 1982, Elisabeth Singleton Moss started acting in the early 1990s and shot to fame soon after as Zoey Bartlett. When that show ended, she started out as Peggy Olson, secretary/editor in Mad Men.

Today, she may be best known as June Osborne in the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, but between those powerful roles she’s taken on a handful of other bookish roles and dropped a few bookish facts. on his life.

Elisabeth Moss has a big imagination

In April 2022 Interview with a New Yorker, “How Elisabeth Moss Became the Dark Lady of the Small Screen,” Moss says she’s always had a “carrying imagination.” It refers to reading little house on the prairie and claiming she lived on a farm.

She thinks she “must have read a book about a garden” because she remembers doing some gardening on her own. In my mind it must be talking about The Secret Garden, but I guess it’s possible there has been more than one book written about gardens in the history of the world.

Apparently an excellent student, one of her favorite games with her parents was the library, in which she would pile books on the stairs and check them and give them to her parents. In 2012, at the request of The Guardian to name her favorite book, she kept it simple: “Anything by Salinger”.

Elisabeth Moss gets Meta with her award-winning portrayals of women featured in award-winning books

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Moss won many accolades in his time, in part because of his roles from books that themselves won accolades.

by Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale won several awards when it was published, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and Arthur C. Clarke Award, and has been nominated for other major prizes such as the Booker Prize. Hulu’s adaptation won literally hundreds of awards, with Elisabeth Moss herself being nominated three times and once winning an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

The invisible Man by HG Wells has been adapted so many times that to say it’s been adapted a billion times isn’t even hyperbole. In 2020, it was adapted again, this time starring Elisabeth Moss. Despite its unfortunate early pandemic release date, it grossed over $143 million worldwide on a budget of just $7 million. Reviews were also extremely good, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 91% – and Moss was nominated as Best Actress in a Leading Role by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.

Moss’ movies and TV shows have often outdone their literary counterpoints…but not always

There’s an old saying among book nerds: “The book was better.” While that’s generally true, Moss seems to have a real knack for spotting roles that enhance the story they were based on.

In 1994 Moss starred as Greta Weiler in Imaginary crimes, a film based on a semi-autographic novel titled (wait for it) Imaginary Crimes by Sheila Ballantyne. Film critics had largely positive things to say about the film, praising the performances, with one big issue: the story itself. Even Moss and his co-stars Fairuza Balk, Kelly Lynch and Vincent D’Onofrio couldn’t get this movie above 60% on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, the capitalist gods downed mead that year with a box office gross of $70 million.

First a New Yorker article titled “The Old Man and the Gun” and later a book chapter The Devil and Sherlock Holmesboth written by David Grann, the film The old man and the gun was a hit and holds a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In addition to Moss as Dorothy, it starred Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover and Sissy Spacek.

Of course, sometimes the book really is better than the movie. Such was the case in 1997 when Moss played Linda in the film adaptation of Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. thousand acres. Despite the best efforts of Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, and Jason Robards, it stinks of Rotten Tomatoes at about 25%, despite near-unanimous positive reviews of the novel it was based on.

Although Moss’s role in the 1999s everywhere except here (based on the novel Anywhere but Here, which was a national bestseller when it was released) was minimal enough not to warrant a mention on the Wiki page or Rotten Tomatoes, she just dropped by and showed up on the page IMDb. Based on the bombshell that was this tearful movie starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon, I’m guessing Moss isn’t losing sleep over the snub – and I’m going to guess the book was better, too.

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Then we have the fantastic/terrible film which is Girl, Interrupted. Released in all its 90s glory, let me tell you, I’ve paid to put my butt in the theater to see this gem multiple times. Moss plays Polly Clark (better known as Torch) who suffers from schizophrenia. The book was a smash hit and the movie was kind of both lavishly breaded and lavishly rewarded. Moss’ co-star Angelina Jolie won the Oscar and Golden Globes that year for Best Supporting Actress, while the film only holds 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the a critic’s opinion: “Watching a bunch of teenagers ‘tongue out their meds’ (which doesn’t mean do anything rude to a young doctor) and sob through the windows is boring.”

Doesn’t that sound familiar? Moss has entered the audiobook storytelling game

Elizabeth Moss doesn’t just read on her own. She lends her classical voice to audiobooks.

The first is not surprising: The Handmaid’s Tale audiobook. As one of the stars of the TV series, she was a natural for this, as were the lead writers of the Hulu series who joined her in recording the audiobook: Bradley Whitford, Amy Landecker and Ann Dowd.

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In her second narration, the audiobook for Meg Cabot’s Teen Idol, Moss reads the story of Jenny, a high school student who is so good at solving other people’s problems that she doesn’t notice when her own begin to pile up.

Moss’ film production company creates its own bookish imprint

Elisabeth Moss started her own production company, Love & Squalor Pictures. He produced the above shiny girls based on The shiny girls. He also announced what is currently an “Untitled Elisabeth Moss Project” based on the novel Mrs. March from Virginia Feito, and it is optional Imperfect Women from Araminta Hall.

Of Moss’ many literary adaptations, which are the best? It seems that by the time one person sat down to look at them all for a fair assessment, another dozen would have popped up. What’s certain to me is that Moss puts everything she has into the beloved books that many of her movies and TV shows are based on.


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