Does Elisabeth Moss Smoke in Real Life?

Elisabeth Moss’ Imogen Salter smokes frequently in FX on Hulu’s thriller series ‘The Veil.’ Ever since arriving at the Syrian-Turkish border to meet Adilah El Idrissi, she smokes continuously despite the latter’s disinterest in cigarettes. When she runs out of cigarettes, Imogen becomes irritated and frantic. Even though she is likely with a highly dangerous ISIS commander, the MI6 agent doesn’t hesitate to prioritize buying cigarettes over leading her companion to the authorities. Moss has delivered several commendable performances on-screen with a cigarette between her lips. The ‘Mad Men’ shot of Peggy Olson walking through a corridor while smoking is nothing short of iconic. In real life, the actress is not drastically different!

Elisabeth Moss Smokes in Reality

Elisabeth Moss is seemingly an admirer of cigarettes. She has been spotted smoking in between takes on several occasions. Location photos featuring Moss with a cigarette while shooting Leigh Whannell’s science fiction horror film ‘The Invisible Man’ went viral way back in 2019. During Hulu’s 2017 Emmy After Party in Los Angeles, right after winning her first Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the dystopian series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ she was seen with her ‘Mad Men’ co-star Jon Hamm with a cigarette. In recent times, Moss has given several interviews while smoking.

“She [Moss] is also startlingly beautiful—her pale face luminous, her eyes seawater blue, her hair hanging in loose waves—and she seems to be in a genuinely good mood, relaxing with a Moscow mule and a cigarette,” reads Carina Chocano’s Vogue feature about the actress. “In her trailer, a stream of cigarette smoke rising into the bitter sky, Moss fields my questions with the patience of someone more relaxed than she has any right to be,” Calum Marsh of the quarterly magazine MovieMaker wrote in a 2023 story. Moss’ elegance and relaxed demeanor while smoking cigarettes are things several journalists have noted over the years.

Even though Moss smokes in real life, the cigarettes we see in ‘The Veil’ are likely fake. Labor laws in several jurisdictions restrain performers from using real cigarettes in sets, mainly while filming indoor scenes. Moss voiced against these fake cigarettes while shooting ‘Mad Men,’ a show infamous for its smoking scenes. “By law, we are not allowed to smoke indoors, so the cigarettes are fake herbal. I have no idea what the health repercussions of those are. I guess we’ll find out in 20 years,” the actress told Empire.

For Moss, Imogen was a challenging role. In addition to likely fake cigarettes, the actress had to tackle several action scenes in the thriller series. “I’m quite small, so [Imogen] had to use her skill and intelligence rather than brute force. It was a lot about wrist manipulation and quick movements,” Moss told UPI. Another challenge was the MI6 accent’s British accent. The actress had to practice the dialect for six months to nail it. “[Accents] immediately establish a different character when the character has a completely different voice. So, it’s a very helpful tool, but they’re not easy, especially not if you’re a perfectionist like I am,” Moss added.

Read More: Does Sofía Vergara Smoke in Real Life?