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"Mad Men's" Elisabeth Moss: The Q and the A

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy Olson on "Mad Men" on AMC Photo Credit: AMC, 2009


  My colleague at amNewYork,  Rolando Pujol, had a nice chat with the-one-the-only Elisabeth Moss - Peggy  Olson - of "Mad Men." 

Elisabeth Moss, who turns 28 on Saturday, portrays Peggy Olson, a woman who claws her way from secretary to account executive among a viper’s nest of mad men.

How has Peggy evolved?
When we first meet her, she’s 20 years old, living in Brooklyn and doesn’t know how to operate a typewriter. She’s incredibly naive and has no idea what her role is in this office. She’s definitely grown up a lot … but she’s still the same person. She’s starting to become the woman she’s [going to be.] I don’t think she’s figured it out yet.

How would you compare your character to that of Joan?
Joan owns her power a lot more. Peggy wants to be known as a person, but not necessarily as a woman. … She’s not confident enough in her sexuality. Joan is so confident in it (her sexuality) that she knows she can use it or not use it.

How well do you think women today relate to Peggy?

I think they relate to her very well … The struggle as a woman in the workplace continues. There are still opportunities that come a bit easier to men than to women. Luckily of course, nothing like what it was. 

How do you see her dealing with co-worker Peter Campbell and their child?
She doesn’t have the child, she gave it away. … I think that is something that she has put
out of her head and has very much compartmentalized.Pete and Peggy relationship, is so weighted … They don’t have to say anything about what happened, and you can have them in a scene together [and you feel that tension.]

Do you hear from women who had careers in the 1960s?

Women in their 60s or 70s will turn to me and say, “That was me. It’s all true. It all happened.” It’s incredible. It’s so gratifying when you hear that. … Or women who are my age who turn to me and say, “I just love Peggy. I identify with her.” So  it’s really women of all ages.


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