Being Peggy Olson: Elisabeth Moss Analyzes Her Character's Humor, Body Language, and Worldview

April 5, 2015 2:40 PM

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Being Peggy Olson: Elisabeth Moss Analyzes Her Character's Humor, Body Language, and Worldview

Elisabeth Moss and Peggy Olson both lived through their twenties on Mad Men. At the beginning of each season, Moss paused to reevaluate how she would perform Peggy, taking stock of the changes a person goes through as she fumbles her way into adulthood. Ahead of Sunday night’s premiere, Moss spoke with Vulture about the traits that define Peggy — her body language and humor, her optimism and larger motivations. Moss is currently playing a slightly updated “woman in a man’s world” on Broadway in Pam MacKinnon’s production of Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles. Her role as Heidi Holland dovetails nicely with her arc on Mad Men, picking up the woman’s struggle just after Peggy’s time, as feminism matured into a full-fledged crusade — a movement Moss says Peggy would have been too exhuasted to join.

Playing Heidi, did anything strike you as similar to how things are for women today? In what ways do you think we've progressed, and in what ways are we still the same, or maybe even worse? It’s definitely better. I think the way it’s improved is that the definition of what it means to "have it all"...

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