Actress, producer Elisabeth Moss discusses latest role at SCAD Savannah Film Festival Q&A

SCAD Savannah Film Festival

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) ⁠— Actress Elisabeth Moss spoke about her latest movie “Her Smell” Thursday following a screening at the 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

In the film, which was released in April, Moss plays Becky Something, a once-successful ‘90s rock superstar and lead singer of the band, Something She.

Becky’s destructive behavior and wild antics derail her band’s national tour, tears them apart and leads to her downfall — and her eventual attempt to reclaim her lost glory.

Moss, who was honored with the Spotlight Award at this year’s film festival, shared with an audience at the SCAD Museum of Art that the character of Becky was inspired by Axl Rose, the lead singer of the band, Guns N’ Roses.

“I loved the script, I loved the part and I thought it was like nothing I’d ever read,” Moss said.

She admitted that while the script fascinated her, it was a bit challenging to understand at first. 

“It was no improv whatsoever, that’s all written. All of it,” Moss told the audience.

“It was really hard, and I’m pretty good at memorizing lines, especially at this point, and this was tough,” she said, adding, “I had to kind of pull myself up and be like, ‘Alright, you’re getting a little cocky here, you’ve gotta make sure you know these,’ because it was really difficult language, like Shakespeare or something, which I’ve never done and could never do.”

Playing a ’90s rock star involved taking on some singing and guitar playing skills. Moss said she practiced learning guitar as much as possible, even while on the set for season 2 of her series, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” 

“For five months, I was taking guitar lessons,” said Moss, who told the crowd she has a few musician family members and has a lot of respect for the craft.

“I have really funny photos of me in a handmaid’s costume with an electric guitar, and I would just carry it everywhere, back and forth to set, and in the car, and in my trailer, and in Waterford’s House,” she said. “Just always trying to practice, practice, practice.”

Moss also served as one of the producers of “Her Smell.”

The actress said her producing experiences on “The Handmaid’s Tale” is where her learning curve as producer has happened, and is still happening.

“I love it,” she said.

“Obviously, the control is great, the power you have is great, the say that you have is great, everyone kind of knows that part,” she said.

“And it is great, and it shouldn’t be made light of, because it’s important, especially if you’re the only female voice in the room sometimes, it’s nice to be like, ‘You know, I’m also an executive producer, you have to listen to me,’” she laughed.

She shared that as an actor, her role as producer has given her much more knowledge about what she has been doing as a performer.

“For me, being part of all those decisions only helps me to understand the character more, understand the project more, you know, the tone of it, the style of it, what we’re doing,” Moss said.

To view WSAV News 3’s coverage of the 2019 SCAD Savannah Film Festival, click here.

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