Elisabeth Moss has one caveat to doing nude scenes. "Unless they would like to take their clothes off and be shot, then they can decide their angles," she said of directors who want to film her nude while promoting one of her latest projects Top of the Lake: China Girl while in Cannes. It was while doing the first season of this show in 2013 that she employed this tactic originally offered to her by director Jane Campion. "Jane said, 'You can have 100 percent approval of every frame and anything you don’t like will never be used,'" Moss shared. "She gave it to me. She really allowed me to have that voice. And I carried it over."
Now in every project the actress is involved in, if there is a nude scene, she has the final approval, which she believes is better for the filmmaker in the end. "You actually end up getting more than you would if you just ask the actor to take her clothes off."
This responsibility inspired greater confidence as Moss took on the additional role of producer for The Handmaid's Tale. "It does take a little bit more bravery and confidence to start to speak up," she explained. "I do remember the first couple of times, producing Handmaid’s, I had to get up the nerve to send the email, or have the conversation — and then it gets much easier after that when you realize nobody hates you."
These are feelings to which a lot of women can relate. In the process of taking on a leadership role or more responsibility, there is that persistent voice in our heads where we feel pressure to temper our confidence for the sake of being liked.
"It definitely has made me more outspoken. It’s given me a stronger voice, because in order to go up against a group of people — a studio, a network, writers, producers, everything — you have to be strong and you have to be willing to speak your mind." Moss continued, bringing up a great point about creative control and an all-too-common dynamic as an actress where there is an exclusion in decision making. "It's been really empowering to say, 'No you can't do that. You have to listen to me,'" she concluded.
Moral of the story, whether a nude scene or a project meeting, Elisabeth Moss makes an important point highlighting the need for a dynamic of balance and greater distribution of creative control. We all benefit when women feel empowered to speak their minds and have more creative control.
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