Elisabeth Moss explains how “jealousy” helps her make big career choices

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Elisabeth Moss just made a case for letting a little jealousy spur you on in your career, and it’s a relatable listen for many people. 

Elisabeth Moss is one of the most prolific, successful and celebrated actors currently out there. 

From Mad Men to Top of the Lake and The Handmaid’s Taleshe’s enjoyed a career than many others in her field can only dream of. 

It’s perhaps somewhat reassuring, then, to learn that Moss experiences the same pangs of jealousy and turmoil that many of us navigate through in our careers. 

Speaking on David Tennant Does A Podcast, Moss revealed that “jealousy is a great clarifier” when it comes to accepting or declining roles that she is offered. 

“My thing is quite often, if I hate the idea of somebody else doing it, if the idea of somebody else doing it fills me with rage and jealousy,” she says.

“I start to think about who they’re going to go to next, I know the group of actresses that are often up for the same things…

“And I think, ‘If they go to Rose Byrne I’m gonna… argh… why I oughta!”

Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men.
Elisabeth Moss rose to fame as Peggy Olsen in Mad Men.

When Tennant suggests that jealousy is a great clarifier, Moss replies: “It really is. It’s sometimes the thing that makes you go, ‘Oh, this is actually something I really want to do.’ It’s not only that, but that is part of it.” 

Stylist recently reported on research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which suggested that a little jealousy among friendships can actually be quite healthy. 

But anyone who relates to Moss’ words on jealously within the context of careers might agree that this also applies to our work lives. 

While society doesn’t really encourage us to talk about the jealously we feel about a colleague, a little bit of healthy envy might be what prompts us to go for a promotion or take on a new project. 

Perhaps more honest, open and judgment-free discussions like this are what we need to break the taboo around something as normal and prevalent as jealousy.

You can listen to the full Elisabeth Moss interview on David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, which is available on AppleSpotify and all podcast providers. 

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Images: Getty, HBO

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…