Like most of the people who have seen her work, Brandi Carlile is a big Elisabeth Moss fan. “I think she’s probably the most amazing actress in the world right now,” says the newly minted Grammy nominee (she snagged six nods, including Album and Record of the Year) of the star of The Handmaid’s Tale. “Specifically, she’s the most amazing non-verbal actress. She can act without speaking and completely communicate what she’s feeling on her face.”
Carlile and Moss first crossed paths on Ellen, and when the singer-songwriter decided to make a video for the poignant “Party of One” from her acclaimed album By the Way, I Forgive You, she says “I just couldn’t get [Moss] out of my head, because almost all of the dialogue in that song is musical.” So, she sat right down and wrote Moss a letter. As it turns out, it was a mutual admiration society between the actress and the musician. “She wrote back and said she loved the song, and she was inspired by the letter, and that she felt that it should have an all-female crew. She got together with a couple of amazing people, and wrote a treatment and produced the video.”
The result far exceeded Carlile’s expectations.
“She listened to that song so many times, you could tell,” says the Washington native. “She knew every nuance. She was communicating every space in that song with her face and body. I felt like she was reminding me of what the song was about.”
That said, viewing the video is not easy. “It brings me back to the night I wrote the song, and that’s not a place I like to be brought back to very much,” she says. “So, I’ll probably keep my watches to a minimum.”