Actress Maggie Siff on Virtue Signaling and Her 'Allergy to Social Media' - OZY | A Modern Media Company

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because a pandemic can offer an on-screen psychiatrist time on the couch to knit her own thoughts.

By Eromo Egbejule

Sometimes, the best thing to do is stay quiet. For actress Maggie Siff, holed up in Maine with her family during the pandemic and rekindling old passions, America’s racial justice reckoning has been powerful. Even if you don’t hear her talk much about it.

“I think as a white person, there’s a lot of virtue signaling going on,” Siff says on the latest episode of The Carlos Watson Show, a new late-night-style talk show available now on YouTube. “And I think it’s really our job to sit and listen and hear what’s happening and figure out in a really thoughtful, careful way how we can be allies and do it right.”

It could be because of her personality. A household face from the shows Billions, Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men, Siff is also a self-described introvert. “I have an allergy to social media,” says the Brooklyn-based actor.

“Do you think that comes fundamentally from a place of fear?” asks host Carlos Watson. “Maybe it’s a kind of fear,” Siff replies. “In order to do that, you have to have a public persona. You have to say, ‘This is who I am. This is my brand. This is what I believe in, and this is what I’m going to say about that.’ To me that feels like a falseness.”

I’m among the people in the world who are fundamentally unemployed.

Maggie Siff

Most TV and film studios have been shut down since February. And that is affecting timelines for Billions, the Showtime TV sitcom on which Siff stars as Wendy Rhoades, psychiatrist-cum-hedge-fund performance coach and wife to a brash New York attorney general. The show was in the middle of filming new episodes in New York, which for many weeks was the hot spot of the pandemic.

Siff can see COVID-19 being a big part of the show once it returns. “In general, I feel like our showrunners are pretty good at making the show reflect and refract the current events and the world of power and power brokers,” Siff says.

Until then, she’s spending more time with family, reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, baking and knitting. “I’m among the people in the world who are fundamentally unemployed,” she jokes, “so I have to find something.”

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