Elisabeth Moss has made rare comments about her background in Scientology, with The Handmaid’s Tale saying she doesn’t want her viewers to be ‘distracted’ by her faith.
The actor, whose previous roles include starring in The West Wing, Mad Men and The Invisible Man, was raised as a Scientologist.
Invented by American author L Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a set of beliefs and practices that expanded from a movement into a global church.
The organisation has been shrouded in controversy for years, with some detractors dubbing it a ‘cult’ and a few of its high-profile members including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.
Elisabeth has previously spoken out against the claim that the oppressive society of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale and Scientology are both ‘outside sources are evil’, when a viewer made the remark.
In a new interview, she was asked about her Scientologist beliefs, saying that she didn’t ‘want to come off as cagey’.
‘If you and I met, just hanging out as friends, I’m, like, an open book about it,’ she told The New Yorker.
‘I don’t want people to be distracted by something when they’re watching me. 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.”’
She added that ‘people can obviously hold in their mind whatever they want to’, which she ‘can’t control.
‘It’s not really a closed-off religion. 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,’ the 39-year-old said.
She also emphasised how ‘religious freedom and resistance against a theocracy is very important’ to her.