Elizabeth Moss Interview
Long before she caught the TV viewing world’s attention as Peggy Olsson in AMC’s hit series Mad Men, Moss stood before a microphone to give voice to characters in such landmark series as Batman: The Animated Series and Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs, as well as the animated holiday special Frosty Returns.
Moss continued working in animation – with roles in series and specials like Freakazoid! and It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown! – as her on-screen career began to blossom, eventually stepping away from voiceovers to act in a succession of popular series, most notably The West Wing, Invasion and Picket Fences.
Now Moss has undertaken the task of bringing to animated life Arisia, a young recruit forced into her first mission on just her third day as a Green Lantern. Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, and distributed by Warner Home Video, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights weaves six legendary stories of the Green Lantern Corps’ rich mythology around preparations for an attack by an ancient enemy. As the battle approaches, Hal Jordan (voiced by Castle’s Nathan Fillion) mentors Arisia in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, telling tales of Avra (the first Green Lantern) and several of Hal’s comrades – including Kilowog, Abin Sur, Laira and Mogo. In the end, Arisia must rise to the occasion to help Hal, Sinestro and the entire Green Lantern Corps save the universe from the destructive forces of Krona.
Recording her lines on a day off from the Mad Men set, Moss had time for a few questions about her role, working in animation, and the importance of great footwear.
What’s the essence of Arisia’s story in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights?
ELISABETH MOSS:It’s sort of Arisia’s first day on the job, so there’s a huge learning curve for her. She’s just been basically plucked out of class on her home planet and thrown into this intergalactic police force – just as the universe is under attack. So it’s all very overwhelming for her. But she’s smart and courageous, so she rises to the occasion.
You get years to develop your character on shows like Mad Men and The West Wing. Was it difficult to have just one day in Arisia’s shoes?
ELISABETH MOSS:Well, I really love Arisia’s boots – they’re very cool, I like their style – so I like being in her shoes (she laughs). Animation is great because you’re part of a large team effort. I’m only required to provide my voice for a single character, and to act that role while the director and writers and animators create the entire story. So it’s fun to see that all come together, especially to see an animated sort-of version of yourself.
What was it about Arisia that attracted you to the character?
ELISABETH MOSS:I like that she’s strong, and at the same time she’s a pretty girl. But she really adapts well to her first day on the job, and she has a lot of responsibility. I think she’s a nice, strong female character.
You’ve been away from animation for many years. What prompted the return?
ELISABETH MOSS: It sounded like a cool thing to do, and it sounded like a lot of fun – something great to do on a day off from Mad Men.I’ve always wanted to do more animation. I think it’s a really fun job; Obviously, it has a certain ease to it, but at the same time it can be difficult. There’s technical things that I’m not very good at or that I’m just learning, things about your voice and making clicking sounds and (using) the headphones … but it’s fun to learn and it’s definitely something I’d like to get to do more of.
Do you find animation is more liberating than on-screen acting?
ELISABETH MOSS:What’s liberating about animation is that you can show up in your jeans and t-shirt and not worry about make-up or hair style. You can show up in your pajamas if you want. That’s tremendously liberating, as opposed to going through three hours of hair and make-up before going before the camera for my day job. So it’s much more relaxing.
So you’d like to do more voiceovers. Are you seeking any particular roles?
ELISABETH MOSS:I’m not familiar enough with all the comic book characters to choose. I’m just happy to be asked to do anything. I couldn’t necessarily pick one – I would just like to be involved with whatever somebody thought I was suitable for.
Special Thanks To Gary Miereanu