Exclusive: Elisabeth Moss Reveals Why Crime Thriller 'Shining Girls' Gripped Her Right Away

Consider this a warning: Don’t start Apple TV’s Shining Girls if you have somewhere to be in the next few hours. The series, which releases its first three episodes on the streamer April 29, is frightening, maddening, disorienting — and, because and in spite of those things, impossible to walk away from. The minute you think you know what’s going on, the show reveals just enough to make you question it, and star and executive producer Elisabeth Moss couldn’t get enough from the first moment she saw a script. “I really wanted to know what happened next,” she tells SheKnows’ Reshma Gopaldas. “That was truly what made me want to do it — I just wanted to get the scripts!”

The story, based on Lauren Beukes’ 2014 novel The Shining Girls, the new series follows archivist Kirby Mazrachi (Moss), a once-ambitious journalist whose life was derailed by a violent attack years earlier, leaving her with gaps in memory and difficulty holding on to her shifting reality. When a reporter at her paper Dan Velazquez (Wagner Moura) starts investigating a local murder, Mazrachi sees similarities to her own attack and begins to unravel the mystery of how they’re connected, fighting to uncover both the attacker and the disjointed pieces of her day-to-day life. 

Elisabeth Moss and Wagner Moura in ‘Shining Girls’
Apple TV+.

“I read it as a viewer. I’d never read the book, so I read the first script first,” Moss explains to SheKnows. “I’d never seen anything like it before — I watch a lot of TV, and I’d never seen a show like this, I’d never seen a story like this.”

'Shining Girls' by Lauren Beukes


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Moss executive produced the series alongside a long list of other talented EPs including writer and showrunner Silka Luisa, and a number of executives from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions, including DiCaprio himself.

“[DiCaprio] and his company Appian Way being attached to the project was definitely something that brought it more attention,” Moss says of her choice to get involved as a producer. “Obviously I respect his choices so much and I respect what his company’s been doing, incredible creative choices…So, that definitely was something that made me listen up.”

Phillipa Soo in ‘Shining Girls’
Apple TV+.

When Leonardo DiCaprio and Elisabeth Moss give a project their seal of approval, that’s a signal for viewers everywhere to listen up too. Watch our full interview with Elisabeth Moss above (including whether she’ll ever star in a series that doesn’t make our hearts stoop) and check out Shining Girls on Apple TV+ starting April 29.

'Shining Girls' on Apple TV+


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The first three episodes of Shining Girls will debut on Apple TV+ on April 29. One new episode will be released each Friday for the rest of the season. 

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