On being the lead in the Sundance Channel miniseries "Top of the Lake": "I suppose it's the first time I've been No. 1 on the call sheet. I frankly just had so much to do -- I was working, I think, 65 or 66 days out of the 82 shooting days, and 50 of those days were in a row. So it was definitely a bigger venture than I've ever done."
On recording her own audition for the part: "I put the camera on a coffee table and sat on the floor and fixed the lighting and took out a light bulb and made sure it looked nice, and I sent it off and went to dinner. The next night I got a text from Jane [Campion] that basically was like, 'You're my Robin.'"
"One thing Jane said to me in the very beginning, before i actually auditioned which I really appreciated was, 'I know that you can do vulnerable. I've seen that. I need to see that you can cover it up.' And I completely understood that request, because I frankly needed to see if I could do that as well."
On changing as an actor: "I learned honestly what I need as an actor and who I am as an actor, because I don't think there is any right way to act, I don't think there is any right way to play a scene or play a part. I felt like I learned so much about my own instrument, so to speak, and became a lot stronger."
"I never really went to any acting school or anything, so I'm not very good at the nomenclature of acting. But I suppose I learned to know when it's there and it's not. To know when to not think about it, and when to do a bit more work on it and spend some time with the scene."
"The joy that someone would get from playing a beautiful piece of music or painting or dancing and whatever it is, I get that weird same joy and pleasure when I'm acting. To me, showing human truth is really interesting, and tapping into emotions -- I find it really fun."
On auditioning: "Jane said the most amazing thing to me, she said, 'You don't have to hit the bullseye, just get the dart on the board.' And I will never for the rest of my life forget that she said that, because as an actor it just liberated me."
On Jane casting her: "Occasionally someone is open and trusting and gives you a chance to show that you can do something different. It's hard to find that sometimes as an actor when you want to try different things. And I'm so forever grateful to her."
On "Mad Men's" end: "It's bittersweet ... what I just keep thinking about is the last time that they say 'Cut' and call 'Check the gate,' and that's the last time I will ever play Peggy. That, to me, is so strange. That I will never open my mouth as that character again is so weird to me. I think I'll probably just be sort of numb about it, and then it'll hit me eight months later."
"I feel like I really arrived at the right place and the right time. I'm sure that it will always be more difficult, but I think that there is an incredible opportunity out there right now."