Elisabeth Moss’ new film tells the real story of the woman behind The Haunting Of Hill House

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Elisabeth Moss just talked about her scariest role yet, and gave an update on The Handmaid’s Tale season four.

Before going into lockdown, Elisabeth Moss gave us the brilliantly clever and terrifying retelling of The Invisible Man. Cementing her status as a new horror icon, Moss is returning with another scary offering – and it looks like the ultimate distraction we need right now. 

Shirley tells the story of Shirley Jackson, the writer behind Netflix’s The Haunting Of Hill House. Along with giving an update on The Handmaid’s Tale season four, Moss has just talked about her role in the new film, which is released in America this weekend. 

Set in the 60s, the film follows Shirley (Moss) and her college professor Stanley (Michael Stuhlbarg). After a young couple moves in with them, a series of events leads Shirley to write her major novel, The Lottery. Although the movie is set in a real period in the author’s life, it is built around fictitious relationships and characters.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January where it won the US Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking.

Let’s take a look at the gripping trailer.

Watch the trailer for Elisabeth Moss’ Shirley

As you can see, it’s freaky as hell – complete with tarot cards, characters lurking in dark rooms and plenty of tricks on the eyes. The relationship between Shirley and the young woman in her house – who feels “thrillingly horrible” after reading her host’s work – looks like the key story. 

Speaking about the other important relationship in the film, Moss told Extra: “There are things, especially with Stanley and Shirley’s relationship, that I think we got pretty right. They were really in love and respected and admired each other. That to us was important to capture as opposed to just doing an impersonation of someone. We really wanted to capture that essence.”

We can all agree that Moss’ performance in the trailer is so much more than an impersonation; she has well and truly captured the author’s true essence.

Moss also gave fans an update on The Handmaid’s Tale, continuing: “We were only two weeks in [when filming shut down] so we actually have an entire season to shoot. We want to go back to work because families have people to support and rent they need to pay, but at the same time no human’s life is worth a TV show. We’re just trying to figure out how to do it safely for everybody.”

You can catch up with The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4 and NOW TV. 

Shirley will be available to watch on Hulu in America from 5 June, and we’ll keep you updated on when it’s coming to the UK. 

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Images: Cornerstone Pictures

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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…