Shining Girls' Elisabeth Moss Talks the New Series and Its Unreliable Narrator

With many thrilling narratives, there are various story components that can cause mystery, but with the upcoming Apple TV+ series Shining Girls, audiences will witness not only a storyline that has twists and turns, but the series itself also has a way of misdirecting the viewer in ways that keeps us from separating fact from fiction. In addition to starring as Kirby, a woman whose mind has endured trauma that impacts her own memories, Elisabeth Moss also goes behind the camera as a producer and director, allowing her to fully manipulate how the storyline is presented to viewers. Shining Girls premieres on Apple TV+ on April 29th.

"The challenges are obvious in the sense of you are used to having at least the one through-line, the one person that you can rely on to take you through this story," Moss shared with "The challenge is not having that, but the reward is that you have a lot of freedom and you can go to a lot of different places and you can do anything you want, because nothing matters and everything can change in a minute, anyway." 

She added, "The thing that I think grounded us in this show, though, was that Kirby is in the same position as the audience a lot of the time, in the sense that she also doesn't know what's going on, she also doesn't know when things are going to change next, she also doesn't know why it's happening or how it's happening. She is reliable in the sense of, she's in the same position as the people watching and she's going through this story episode after episode, trying to figure it out for herself as well."

Based on Lauren Beukes' best-selling novel, Shining Girls follows Kirby Mazrachi (Moss) as a Chicago newspaper archivist whose journalistic ambitions were put on hold after enduring a traumatic assault. When Kirby learns that a recent murder mirrors her own case, she partners with seasoned, yet troubled reporter Dan Velazquez (played by Wagner Moura), to uncover her attacker's identity. As they realize these cold cases are inextricably linked, their own personal traumas and Kirby's blurred reality allow her assailant to remain one step ahead. In addition to Moss and Moura, the gripping drama stars Phillipa Soo with Amy Brenneman and Jamie Bell rounding out the ensemble cast.

Having starred in projects like The Handmaid's Tale and The Invisible Man, audiences have often seen Moss play characters who undergo emotional duress, with the actor detailing how, in a way, playing such roles brings her a great amount of joy. 

"It's such a hard concept to explain, maybe one day I'll figure how to explain it, but I actually have fun doing it. So for me, it's not something that is like, I feel the emotions. I don't feel sad. I don't feel angry. I don't feel stressed. I don't feel the emotions that my character's necessarily going through," Moss recalled of portraying stressful situations. "I actually have fun doing it and it's a joy for me. So, for me, that is actually -- it's not like therapy for me, it's like going to Disneyland, I love it so much. I just, personally, after doing that all day, when I go home, I don't necessarily then want to watch something that is similar to what I've been doing all day."

Shining Girls premieres on Apple TV+ on April 29th.

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