Pam MacKinnon: How did this part come to you?
Elizabeth Moss: I met with producer Jeffrey Richards for martinis as a friend—no ulterior motive. He did this old-school Broadway thing: He had an assistant bring the play. He asked me to play Heidi and said I had already been approved by the powers that be. I was in shock; I said yes without reading it, and then walked through Central Park with the play under my arm. It was a very New York moment.
PM: Why did the story pique your interest?
EM: Initially, it scared the shit out of me. But when I read the play, it felt so relevant and funny. As a 32-year-old woman, I was just so struck by how Wendy had put into words this sort of intangible sadness and feeling: What does it mean to have it all? How do you get it?
PM: There have been big-name Heidis in the past, Joan Allen among them. Have you spoken to her?
EM: No. I think Joan and Wendy would want it to be our own interpretation. But I'm fascinated by anyone who met Wendy. I feel like she's a mythical creature.
PM: We start in the '60s. Did Mad Men offer a way in?
EM: Heidi would have been like [my character] Peggy's younger sister, the more realized version of Peggy. I think it's interesting that Peggy says to Don she's gotten what she wanted but she's not happy and she doesn't understand that. That's what Wendy is saying.
PM: Peter Friedman [in the play's original cast] told me that Wendy said, "Just because you're successful doesn't mean you're happy."
EM: That I understand. To me, that is like pure gold. That is coming from Wendy herself. We can do a month of performances based on that!
This article appears in the March issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.
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