Film Forward

10 Female TV Stars Examine How Far Women Have Come In Entertainment And What's Next For Them

"As Told By Her" features Elisabeth Moss, Mandy Moore, and others.

A new online video series created by CNN — titled As Told By Her — is highlighting some of the top female talent on TV, and having them both examine how far women have come in entertainment and what's to come in the future. As the site explains, it's a dive into their work by examining "strength, authenticity, seeing, and being seen."

For the series, the network spoke with 10 women on TV — Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom, Dear White People star Logan Browning, American Crime star Regina King, This Is Us star Mandy Moore, The Handmaid's Tale star Elisabeth Moss, One Mississippi star Tig Notaro, Guerrilla star Freida Pinto, Shameless star Emmy Rossum, The Handmaid's Tale star Samira Wiley, and UnReal star Constance Zimmer — who have risen to the top of the field by playing powerful female characters and/or working behind the camera.

"For me, as an actor, I don't look for heroes, I don't look for somebody who is inspiring, I don't look for some sort of iconic person," Moss says. "I look for somebody who is human and is real. And, for me, that's the interesting stuff to play, but it's also the very human stuff."

Moss, who admits to having a girl crush on Claire Danes in My So-Called Life, also discussed how The Handmaid's Tale became, thanks to the election in 2016 and its aftermath, "more personal than anything I've ever done." But, prior to that, she discussed playing Peggy Olson on Mad Men, and how that character believed in herself and was an "accidental feminist."

A self-proclaimed "morning person," Moore notes how rare it is to be able to portray a character at totally different stages of their life, from 22 to 66 with Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us. Moore — whose girl crush is Allison Janney on The West Wing — called it "overwhelming" the first time the prosthetics were applied and she began thinking about the life this fictional character had lived, her many ups and downs.

"I feel really fortunate to portray this woman who is so rich and layered and compelling. Ultimately she's not a perfect woman, and she's not a perfect partner or a perfect mother, and I think that that's relatable to see a flawed human onscreen, someone who makes choices that you don't always necessarily agree with," Moore explained. "I don't always necessarily agree with some of the choices that she's made, but I have a lot of compassion and I have a lot of empathy for her. I love that she is struggling to find out who she is at so many junctures of her life."

To check out what interviews with the other subjects and to read the fascinating story behind As Told By Her, check it out in its entirety here.

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

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