Stephen Colbert and Elisabeth Moss are Pretty Good at Crying on Command

Late night is usually no place for sobbing, but on Friday night’s edition of “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert and Elisabeth Moss did their best.

While discussing the recent premiere of Season 3 of her Hulu show “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the conversation eventually turned to Moss’ history of on-screen crying. From her work on “Handmaid’s” and “Mad Men” to her roles in the Alex Ross Perry films “Queen of Earth” and “Her Smell,” she’s had plenty of chances to show some intense emotion through tears.

So, as a late night TV challenge, Moss and Colbert squared off to see who could go from anecdote to ugly cry the fastest. The lighting in the Ed Sullivan Theater isn’t the most conducive to getting the full effect of what they’re able to do, but without spoiling the ending, both of them do surprisingly well.

Before the “cry-off,” the pair talked about how the iconic Handmaid’s costume has become an incredibly popular protest outfit under the current administration. Another round of new abortion laws and Supreme Court decisions in recent weeks have brought with them even more demonstrations with women dressed in red and white. (In a behind-the-scenes “Late Show” clip, Colbert identifies Moss’ dress as chartreuse.)

So it was a bit of a surprise for some DC tourists that, when shooting a scene for Season 3, the area around the Lincoln Memorial was flooded with those same outfits, but for a scene from the show.

“You’re only allowed to have five people in there and no camera equipment can touch the ground,” Moss said of the interior filming operation.

But when things turned to the area outside, on the legendary Memorial’s steps, a few more people got involved.

“We had some nice fans there. There were hundreds of people and they were very cooperative and got quiet when we asked them to be quiet. After certain takes when they liked it, they would applaud. And then at one point, they stopped applauding and I was a little disappointed. It was like, ‘I guess that one wasn’t as good,’” Moss said with a laugh.

Watch the full “Late Show” clip below:

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