Though Elisabeth Moss has belonged to the Church of Scientology for years, she doesn’t frequently speak about her religion to media, though she has been a Scientologist since childhood.
However, she addressed the subject in a new interview with The New Yorker, telling writer Michael Schulman, “I don’t want to come off as being cagey,” when first acknowledging Scientology.
She continued, “If you and I met, just hanging out as friends, I’m, like, an open book about it. [But] 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.”
Her religious affiliations haven’t sat well with Moss’ fans. When Schulman pointed out that her followers find themselves to be “distracted” by her Scientology background, she said, “People can obviously hold in their mind whatever they want to, and I can’t control that. If it’s not that, it’s going to be something else.”
“It’s not really a closed-off religion,” Moss added. “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.”
In fact, Moss said that Scientology has honed her ability to communicate. She said that if her fans have questions then they can “find out for themselves.” She explained, “I’ve certainly been guilty of reading an article or watching something and taking that as gospel. And obviously something like religious freedom and resistance against a theocracy is very important to me.”
Moss did previously address her religious ties in 2019. In an interview with The Daily Beast, she explained how she reconciles her beliefs in Scientology with her role as Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, which has some backward views on the world.
“Listen, it’s a complicated thing because the things that I believe in, I can only speak to my personal experience and my personal beliefs. One of the things I believe in is freedom of speech. I believe we as humans should be able to critique things,” she said. “I don’t ever want to take that away from anybody, because that actually is very important to me. At the same time, I should hope that people educate themselves for themselves and form their own opinion.”