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Emmy® Award-winning Actress Elisabeth Moss Discusses Season 2 of Bravo’s Hit Drama THE HANDMAID’S TALE
— April 20, 2018
The second season of Bravo’s critically adored, politically charged drama THE HANDMAID’S TALE is back for Season 2 beginning Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The series has sparked debate about current social issues, and continues to be a harrowing cautionary tale about female subjugation under the totalitarian regime.
Series lead star Elisabeth Moss (Offred/June) talks about how the show has had an impact on our society’s future, and how we currently see the world around us.
How the show will depict motherhood in Season 2:
I think this season of the show is so much about that there's so many different ways that you can be a mother and a father. The different approaches that people have to it, and what it really means. I'm not a mother myself, so I can't really speak from that specific place, but I do have a mother. I think that for us, it's about how you want to raise a child in this world, but the kind of world also that you want to bring them into. You want to make sure that there is a place for them and that there is freedom for them.
How THE HANDMAID’S TALE is resonating with the audience:
I never fully anticipated that, but I do think that the reasons that we were all attracted to the material, the reason that MGM was attracted, that Hulu was attracted, then Bruce, then me, then Warren, then the audience, then the people who give you the awards, are also the reasons why the audience is attracted to it. It does feel like the right moment for these stories. It does feel like it's speaking to us as humans, like I said, not just in my country, but all over the world. And I think that it was time, in so many ways, for the stories to start to have a voice and start to be told. Did I anticipate there being this crazy storm of the costumes being used at actual, real life protests, or at actual legislature, of course not. But if we've given somebody a symbol for the resistance, I think that’s fantastic. I mean, it's cooler than any TV show.
On women solidarity and its role on the show:
I think that one of the saddest things about Season 1 for me and Yvonne [Strahovski] was Serena not having solidarity with Offred or with any of the Handmaids. That was shown in any scene where I got play Offred, just not understanding how she could turn her back on her fellow women. Those scenes were very moving for me and for Yvonne. Without spoiling anything, yes, we do get into that more in Season 2 and start raising the question more and more, of why are you doing this? And not just Serena but the other wives as well, why are you turning against your fellow women? And we do bring it up, and I think it is really interesting to talk about.
I personally have a lot of women in my life, and I've always worked with women, and work with even more women now, fortunately. My entire team is women except for my lawyers. I've been very fortunate in my female relationships, but I've seen it happen, of course. I've seen women turn on each other, and I think THE HANDMAID'S TALEis a great representation of the extreme of that.
How society can prevent itself from following Gilead’s path:
If you know, you have got to tell me. If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn't be making a TV show. I don't think there's one answer to it, but I do think there has to be a voice for people who have not had it for a very long time. That can be women, that can be men, that can be people of different races and creeds. I think there's definitely a sense of people feeling like they haven't been listened to, and so I think giving everyone a voice is a good starting place.
How the violence of Gilead is handled for audiences:
I think we temper hard-to-watch aspects of the show so many times with other things. It's so romantic and beautiful and elegant and sad, all at the same time. I was watching an episode the other day that was literally making me laugh out loud. So we temper it a lot of times, but if we were to shy away from the reality of this world, of Gilead, that wouldn't work either. So I think as long as we try to, it's never gratuitous and as long as we are truthful and telling the story, then we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.
On makeup playing a huge role in her acting
The choice to not wear makeup is in the book, they don't have makeup, obviously. But I will say for Burton LeBlanc, who is the head of our makeup department, there is makeup. But it’s not beauty makeup. There's not makeup that makes you look better, there can be makeup that makes you look worse. Burton does an incredible job with that kind of makeup. I go to the makeup trailer every morning. I find the makeup that Burton does for me is really helpful, because he can make me look more tired, he can make me look more distressed, or like I've been crying, and that actually helps me do my job.