Elisabeth Moss, the award-winning star of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, is a card-carrying Scientologist. It’s a surprising fact, given the actress’s public image as a feminist—owing to her iconic turns as Offred, as well as Peggy Olson on Mad Men—and one that’s eluded most people thanks to her reticence on the subject, and an entertainment press that’s treated the 37-year-old with kid gloves.
Of course, Moss’s continued presence on Handmaid’s, coupled with her outspoken views on women’s reproductive rights, seems strange given how the Church of Scientology has been accused of forcing women into having abortions.
“The hypocrisy is asinine,” Leah Remini tells me of Moss. “[Moss] is getting away with it because with most press, people are pussies. They want the celebrity to get to talk with them, and like them. You know, I don’t respect it, I don’t admire it, and I don’t think there’s anything remotely cute about it.”
Remini was a Scientologist for over 30 years before defecting following the disappearance of her pal Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who hasn’t been seen publicly in years. She’s now the world’s preeminent Scientology whistleblower, and the host of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, a docuseries showcasing the horror stories of apostates.
When I asked Moss about her Scientology beliefs in March, and whether they run contra to the message of The Handmaid’s Tale, she mostly deflected, saying, “I can only speak to my personal experience and my personal beliefs. One of the things I believe in is freedom of speech. I believe we as humans should be able to critique things. I believe in freedom of the press. I believe in people being able to speak their own opinions. I don’t ever want to take that away from anybody, because that actually is very important to me. At the same time, I should hope that people educate themselves for themselves and form their own opinion, as I have.”
As Remini sees it, this type of non-response is par for the course. “When I was in [Scientology], when I was being asked about Scientology—this was before the internet and social media—there wasn’t that much information on the internet about Scientology. Not like now. I was indoctrinated, just as Elisabeth [Moss], to not read what’s on the internet, to not read anything. Elisabeth has not watched my show. So, she knows nothing about what she’s talking about, she just needs to respond the way Scientology wants her to respond.” (Moss and the Church of Scientology did not respond to requests for comment by time of publication.)
“And if you’ve noticed, assholes like Kirstie Alley are calling me a twat and the STAND League is calling me a bigot, and people like Elisabeth Moss are saying what they all say: find out for yourself, don’t believe what’s in the press, you should think for yourself, get a book, that kind of shit,” Remini continued, airing out the Scientologist-actress and Scientology’s attack-dog group.
She then aimed her ire at Giovanni Ribisi, another prominent Hollywood Scientologist. “And you have the Giovannis [Ribisi] of the world saying I sound disgruntled, and I was a friend of Giovanni’s too, and they can all kiss my fat ass with their bullshit. They can kiss my ass,” Remini exclaimed. “If they want to ever comment about me publicly, they can do it to my face—and they will never. Giovanni was supposed to be at an Emmy event and didn’t show up because he knew I would be there. That’s the kind of pussy shit we’re talking about. Kirstie Alley blocked me on Twitter. She wants to call me a twat? She knows where I live.”
The most frustrating thing, according to Remini, is how many of these Hollywood Scientologists take it upon themselves to criticize the brave men and women who’ve escaped the church’s clutches and shared their stories of alleged abuse on the Emmy-winning Scientology and the Aftermath.
“This is the type of thing you’re saying about women who are coming forward talking about being raped? I’m tired of it! Enough is enough,” said Remini. “I was probably one of the most loyal Scientologists. I was in 35 years. Mike Rinder, Amy Scobee, Debbie Cook—they were all in longer than me. All of these people have spoken and told you what’s going on. This is the upper-upper management of Scientology that’s talking to you, and you don’t want to listen?!”
The full interview with Leah Remini will run Monday only at The Daily Beast.