Elisabeth Moss’ ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Salary vs. ‘Mad Men’: Which Show Paid More per Episode?
The Handmaid’s Tale marks Elisabeth Moss’ third hit TV show. The actor starred in The West Wing and Mad Men before leading Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. She snagged six Emmy nominations for playing Peggy Olson and won her first Emmy for playing June Osborne. But which of the two shows paid her the most?
Elisabeth Moss net worth
Moss has been working for decades. Her earliest credits date back to 1990, and her resume is stacked as a result. As a child, she acted alongside Bette Midler in Gypsy. Before playing Zoey Bartlet in The West Wing from 1999 to 2006, Moss appeared in films like Girl, Interrupted, Anywhere But Here, Mumford, The Joyriders.
After The West Wing, she appeared in TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and added more films under her belt. But it was Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men that took her to new heights. While she never won an Emmy for playing Peggy Olson alongside Jon Hamm’s Don Draper, Moss’ turn as the secretary-turned-copywriter is one of her most memorable.
Thanks to the fame from Mad Men, Moss was able to get into producing. She produced a handful of projects after the AMC drama ended in 2015. In 2017, she produced and starred in the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale. She is now an executive producer and director for the series. Her producer role means she wins an Emmy whenever The Handmaid’s Tale wins categories like Outstanding Drama Series, which it did in 2017.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Moss is worth $30 million.
‘Mad Men’: How much did Elisabeth Moss make per episode?
Moss told Today in 2017 she had a specific approach to playing Peggy. And it explains why the character was so universally relatable.
“I always wanted to approach it not as a girl in the ’60s, but I wanted women to identify with her regardless of what decade it was,” she said.
She understood the character all the way back in her first audition as well. As Moss told TV Web:
“There was this perfect moment where this pilot came along, and I was in New York at the time. I was cast out of New York. And everybody was buzzing about this show, Mad Men, and then this other show, which shall remain nameless. I auditioned for Mad Men, and I had three auditions. Two or three auditions, the same scenes every time. And I remember leaving my first audition and calling my manager, who has been my manager for, like, 21 years, and I said, ‘I want to work with that man.’ And I meant [Matthew Weiner].”
Peggy and Don’s dynamic throughout the show’s seven seasons was one of the biggest, consistent draws. And Moss was paid well for her efforts, although not as much as Hamm. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Moss’ biggest Mad Men paycheck was $75,000 per episode. Hamm’s was reportedly $275,000 per episode.
How much does Elisabeth Moss make per episode of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’?
Moss’ Mad Men pay is nothing compared to her Handmaid’s Tale pay. She reportedly earned $175,000 for season of the show, which she had a much more hands-on role in thanks to being a producer. After the instant success of the first season, her pay skyrocketed.
The 38-year-old now gets $1 million per episode. She has the highest net worth of the Handmaid’s Tale cast. Behind her is Yvonne Strahovski at $12 million and Joseph Fiennes at $10 million. Fiennes reportedly also makes $1 million per episode.