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Interview: Elisabeth Moss on not talking about the twist in 'The One I Love'

Elisabeth Moss talks about how it's best if you don't know the opening twist in "The One I Love" and giving up Peggy Olson after nine years of "Mad Men."

Elisabeth Moss crosses from TV to film for the small indie "The One I Love." Credit: Getty Images Elisabeth Moss crosses from TV to film for the small indie "The One I Love."
Credit: Getty Images

Elisabeth Moss isn’t allowed to talk about the main twist in “The One I Love,” which starts off looking like an indie drama about a couple (herself and Mark Duplass) working things out at a remote getaway, and then turns into something…different. That this twist comes around the 15 minute mark makes it a hard film to discuss in detail — not that that there’s not plenty else to talk about. And Moss is a seasoned pro at keeping stum, having spent most of the last decade adhering to “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner’s strict no-spoiler rule.

So we can’t talk about the twist.

We’re tying to keep it under wraps. I think the viewing experience when you don’t know the twist is a little bit more exciting. There’s a nice moment when it’s revealed which we’re trying not to rob the audience of. There are people who have talked about it, but most people have been really respectful.

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What has it been like avoiding that as you’ve been doing press?

It sucks because you can’t talk about what’s the most interesting part about it. At the same time, for eight years people have been trying to get out of me what happens on “Mad Men.” It’s like, you don’t actually want to know. Watch the show! Why do you have to know right now? It’s going to be much better if you just watch it.

You and Mark are mostly the only actors onscreen. What was that like, working with only one other actor?

It only took 15 days to shoot. It’s not like we were on it for months, just me and Mark. It was super fast, so we didn’t have time to get lonely and wish someone else was there. [Laughs]

Still, did that make it intense?

There was an intensity to the whole filming. So much of it was a collaboration. We talked about every scene before we did it. There was improvisation. We would change things in the “scriptment” — I call it a “scriptment.” We really put the film together as we went along. It was 15 days but they were really long days. You just felt like you never stopped.

Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss play a couple trying to patch things up in "The One I Love." Credit: RADiUS-TWC Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss play a couple trying to patch things up in "The One I Love."
Credit: RADiUS-TWC

How close were Mark and you before?

We did a movie together a few years ago [“Darling Companion”], but we didn’t have any scenes together. We became friends. We’d go have pizza and stuff. I saw “Safety Not Guaranteed,” and I loved it. I texted him afterwards and said, “We need to do something together.” I wish I still had that text. I probably don’t. It’s cool to think I texted him that, and now we have a poster for the movie. I should text people more often. I’m going to text Martin Scorsese.

Once you’re released from “Mad Men”…

I have been released from “Mad Men.”

Well, are you now actively seeking films or more TV?

I’m not trying to do anything. It’s just been what’s come along. I’m not averse to doing more TV, and I probably will at some point. I just finished July 3. I wasn’t going to sign a seven-year contract for another show. I would like a second before doing that. And I haven’t seen a TV show I want to do either. But I’ve seen films I want to do. I don’t have a grand plan.

What was it like letting go of Peggy Olson?

I’m kind of over it now, but it was definitely weird. I didn’t really anticipate how hard it was going to be. I was very sad about it. I know I’m going to see everyone again — they’re my friends and family. But it’s the character. I’m never going to see her again. I’m never going to play her again. And I loved playing her. That’s the big bummer is not being able to play her anymore. But you say goodbye and then you move on. It is just a TV show.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 
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