Elisabeth Moss: Jane Campion persuaded me to go nude in Top Of The Lake

The Mad Men actress also says the director of The Piano is "the ultimate feminist"

She’s best known as the quietly conservative Peggy Olsen in Mad Men, but Elisabeth Moss has revealed how, in BBC2’s new missing-person drama Top Of The Lake, she was persuaded by director Jane Campion to go nude.


“There may be a couple of nipple slips,” she tells this week’s Radio Times. “I’m a shy person, but Jane Campion is the last person who is about to make me feel uncomfortable or exploit me. She’s the ultimate feminist.

“You go through all this negotiation about what you’ll show and then you get there, three months in and tired, and you’re just, ‘Whatever, let’s just do it’.”

Created by Gerard Lee and Jane Campion, director of 1993s The Piano, six-part series Top Of The Lake sees Moss play Detective Robin Griffin. The woman described by Moss as an “ass kicker” returns from Australia to her hometown in New Zealand to investigate the case of a missing pregnant 12 year-old.

Beyond steamy affairs and an unhealthy obsession with her new case, however, Moss reveals how her character Robin shares certain similarities to everyone’s favourite copywriter Peggy.

“She’s not one of the girls and not part of the boys’ club, either… It’s kind of become my thing to play women asserting their independence in a man’s world.”

Top Of The Lake airs this Saturday, on BBC2, at 9.10pm. 


Read the full interview with Elisabeth Moss (and another with Jane Campion) in this week’s Radio Times magazine, on sale Tuesday 9th July.