Elisabeth Moss struggled learning to play the guitar for her latest film role.
The actress plays punk rocker Becky Something in Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, in which her character struggles with sobriety as she tries to recapture her former creative inspiration.
To prepare, Elisabeth had to tap into her inner musician and spend six months learning songs and perfecting her guitar and piano playing skills.
“I didn't have to learn the piano as a concert pianist, only in a basic way as I had to learn one song. The guitar is very difficult,” she said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I have a respect for guitar players that I never had before, even though I grew up in a family of musicians. I certainly did not become a very good guitar player. I'm by no means a musician now.”
Elisabeth also had to load up her iTunes with plenty of punk and grunge music, which was also unusual for the former ballet dancer, who grew up listening to jazz, blues and classical.
And in spite of her gruelling performance across two seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, the 36-year-old is adamant that the addiction element makes Her Smell her biggest challenge to date.
“I've done some really difficult things, challenging roles and challenging scenes. But this was the hardest thing I've ever done,” she explained. “It was not fun a lot of the time. It was hard to be in that head space, and hard to be in that person, with all that chaos and craziness. Some things are more fun to play than others. And this was difficult.”
Luckily, Elisabeth felt “incredibly fulfilled and happy” once shooting came to an end.
Her Smell, which also stars rumoured new couple Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson, Dan Stevens and Amber Heard, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.