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SXSW 2019: Elisabeth Moss Chats with Brandi Carlile about “Her Smell”

If you’ve followed our SXSW coverage, you’ve likely noticed my (Leigh, here) obsession with Americana and folk Brandi Carlile, who I recently wrote all about here. Though I’ve been familiar with her music for a while now, I had no idea of her adorable friendship with actress Elizabeth Moss until the two sat down together during SXSW.

Photo by Leigh Kettle

Brandi Carlile and Elizabeth Moss recently collaborated on Carlile’s music video for “Party of One.” Before working together video, both admitted they were secretly obsessed with each other’s works which didn’t come to surface until they met for the first time on “Ellen.” Since then, Carlile and Moss have grown a bond that has been an inspiration for both.

Carlile spent a lot of their time together asking Moss about her new movie “Her Smell,” which tells the story of a punk-rock musician who struggles with sobriety, creativity, and finding her voice. Moss looked to Carlile to help her prepare for the role and sought out inspiration from past struggling artists such as Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain.

Throughout the interview, it was clearly evident that Moss had completely rocked the role (pun intended) with her raw emotion, vulnerable performance of Bryan Adam’s “Heaven,” and ability to make herself look physically “awful” (to the point you’d think she was actually a struggling artist). Though it was no easy performance, Moss was able to create what Carlile calls the “rock ‘n’ roll moment,” a moment which she said only comes once in a song.

Other topics of conversation included Moss’ performance as Offred on Hulu’s adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the difficult-to-watch events in the show, and her thoughts on the future. Though Moss feels we are “a long walk” from the oppression in the fictional Republic of Gilead, she did admit that some countries are a lot closer and that we need to open our eyes to the fact that these type of events have happened and are happening now.

Throughout the full hour of their conversation there appeared to be an overarching lesson about story-telling, a topic that rose to the top as this year’s theme at SXSW. Whether through music or film, media or television, it is evident we are in the year of story-telling. Letting voices be heard to create change.

For more coverage on SXSW, click here, and be sure to check back in for more interviews, recaps, and photo galleries!

Featured image & photo gallery credit: Leigh Kettle/Shuffle Online

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