Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale is on the way; how nerve-wracking was it to be doing a second series without a book to work with?
Even though there is no second book, [writer] Bruce Miller is just so smart and his ability to write these characters is extraordinary. He has such an eye for Margaret Atwood, for storytelling, and is so elevated in the way he transforms it to the screen. I had all the faith in the world that this was going to be just as good, even without a book to base the plot on. The book is so great in its own right but he has a way of seeing that has created something new with it. It’s going really well; we’ve been filming some pretty intense scenes this season, as one would expect from our show!
What do you think of the comparison of Serena Joy Waterford to Ivanka Trump, especially in terms of her notion of domestic feminism? Do you think of it as something of a cautionary tale?
I definitely see it as a cautionary tale. There are too many parallels with our present for it to not be. It’s really incredible to hear how the show resonates with people, and how they themselves draw these parallels. How art is imitating life, and vice versa, because it was so accidentally aligned: the show premiered during the US Election, and when we were filming it was a pre-Trump time; everything unfolded afterwards.
And you had to be the “bad guy”!
Yeah! It was really strange to play the “bad guy”, and to have those comparisons. It’s not a role I’ve ever played, on paper she is unlikeable and unrelatable, and so I had to strip away those judgments and find the humanity inside of her, her emotional core. It was weird to try and justify her actions while I didn’t agree with them.