Elisabeth Moss Puts On A Veil For F/X

(L-R): Elisabeth Moss as Imogen Salter, Dali Benssalah as Malik Amar in THE VEIL. ©FX


Front Row Features


PASADENA, CA -F/X’s new six episode limited series, “The Veil,” premieres on April 30, 2024, exclusively on Hulu. The series spotlights the fascinating relationship between two women who play a deadly game of truth and lies on the road from Istanbul to Paris and London. One woman, Adilah El Idrissi (Yumna Marwan), has a secret that British MI-6 agent Imogen Salter (Elisabeth Moss) must uncover before thousands of lives are lost.

The series was written and produced by Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders.”) Elisabeth Moss, who also produced the series, came to the TV Critics Association to talk with the journalists about her new venture, which she admits was even more challenging than “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Q: What interested you in playing Imogen?

Elisabeth Moss: The first conversation Steve and I had, he was describing the character to me, and he was talking about shape-shifting. He was talking about her playing all these different people, and being able to then let them go, and being very good at it. We were talking about how when Imogen’s playing a character she’s not lying. She’s actually more truthful than she can ever be. I said, “So she’s an actress.”And he said, “Yes.” I said, “Okay, got it.”

For me, that’s the big connection I have with her. It’s an incredible skill she has. It’s a positive thing, not a negative for her. She is able to play somebody, and then shift, and let them go if she has to and move on to play somebody else if she needs to, but she doesn’t ever feel like she’s  really lying or deceiving anybody. It’s an incredibly fascinating character; it’s like acting times a hundred.

Q: Working for MI-6, Imogen Salter is someone who changes who she is so much that nobody really knows who she is. Do you ever take some of the characters you play home with you?

Elisabeth Moss: No, not really, I’m pretty good at letting it go. As soon as they say cut, I’m out, which I feel is very much in common with Imogen.

Q: Did you learn some interesting things about female spies? They always seemed so exotic to me.

Elisabeth Moss: I know, to me too. That’s why I was so excited when this came my way. I’m a huge fan of the spy genre. I have always wanted to play a spy. An MI-6 spy has an extra bit of glamor to it which I was really excited about. I did a lot of research beforehand; reading a lot of books, any kind of female spy book I could get.

But the thing about spies is they don’t necessarily want to talk to you about what they do. So, it’s actually quite difficult to find them and get them to talk to you and tell you their secrets for obvious reasons, which is kind of cool. So, I had to follow what Steve wrote.  I had to follow my instincts.

Q: Can you speak about the fight training?

Elisabeth Moss: I’ve done a fair amount of stunts in fight scenes before but it’s usually on the defensive, playing a character that isn’t trained to fight. What was really fun and different about this for me was she’s a trained fighter. So, she would have learned how to do the things that she does and be quite good at them, even if she is fighting multiple people. So, that was really different and cool for me. We have three big fight scenes for me in it.  And each one was weeks and weeks of physical preparation.

Q: How did you approach this two-hander building the relationship between these two women?

Elisabeth Moss: It was so lovely for us as actors. What Steve did is create this beautiful map for Yumna and I to follow, these two women who were constantly trying to find out who the other person was and get to the essential humanity of this individual in front of them.

Q: What was it like to be shooting in the middle of nowhere with all that snow?

Elisabeth Moss: We were fortunate enough to have a polar vortex right before we started shooting. So we had really a lot of snow, and it was very cold. I shoot in Canada a lot, so I’m quite used to the cold, but this was mountain cold. But even though it was really difficult, we felt incredibly fortunate that FX supported us going to a mountain that people don’t usually go to, let alone film on. So even though it was difficult for the crew, we felt very fortunate to be able to go there.

Q: This has been billed as a limited series, but I couldn’t help but imagine future adventures of Imogen the spy.

Elisabeth Moss: There’s such an incredible arc to her throughout the season, which obviously is something that, as an actor, you always value so much. To the last five minutes of episode six, our finale, you continue to discover more about this woman. I felt that we just scratched the surface of who she could be in such an exciting way.

Q: Coming off “The Handmaid’s Tale,” it looks like you get to have a little bit more fun in this one.

Elisabeth Moss: This was fun for me given the amount of different skills and different things I had to do with the dialect, the stunts, the fight training, speaking a couple different languages here and there and traveling all around the world. It definitely felt like I had found something even more challenging than “Handmaid’s,” which is impossible to say. To me, this was a great time. I loved it.

Q: Do you have any idea when the final season of “Handmaid’s Tale” might begin production?

Elisabeth Moss: We’re prepping right now. We will start this summer.