Now back in her nipped-waist circle skirts and ponytail, Moss finds that the vintage wardrobe, hair and makeup "immediately transports" her back to the earlier era and helps her get into character. But while she likes the skin-covering but form-fitting sexiness of women's dresses and the sharp men's suits of the time, she's less than thrilled with the requisite underpinnings. "I can't deal with the girdles," she confides.
To Moss, it was important that Peggy not be a throwback caricature. "I wanted to make sure she was real, not just a girl of that time, so if you take her out of those costumes she could very easily live in 2007."
Moss has never encountered real-life workplace harassment, something men were more open about practicing, and women silently accepted, back in the '60s. But she wonders if we haven't lost some dignity with progress. "You have movie stars with cellulite and no makeup on the cover of a magazine and that never would have happened in 1960," she muses, figuring that Marilyn Monroe would be picked apart like Britney Spears were she famous today. "So some things are better and some things are worse," she says.
A Los Angeles native who began acting as a child in the early '90s, Moss was previously best known for her seven-season recurring role on The West Wing as presidential daughter Zoey Bartlet, but also appeared with Angelina Jolie in Girl: Interrupted and had roles in such TV shows as Invasion, Grey's Anatomy, Ghost Whisperer, and this summer, NBC's Fear Itself. Prior to getting cast in Mad Men, Moss was living in New York, where she'd moved six years ago to do a play; she goes back to see friends whenever she can.
Now 25 and single, Moss isn't sure what she's looking for in a relationship. "I don't know if I've figured that out. I think I'm still finding out what I look for," she admits, revealing that she can be a little bit old fashioned. "I believe in love," she asserts.
Not a bad thing to have faith in—in any era.