THE HANDMAID’S TALE star Samira Wiley discusses what to expect in Season 2 of Bravo’s hit drama series
— April 27, 2018
Season 1 of Bravo’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE left off with Moira, portrayed by Samira Wiley, achieving freedom by escaping across the border into Canada. With the second season of the Emmy® award-winning series just around the corner, many are wondering how long that freedom will last, and if Moira will be reunited with her best-friend Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss).
Series star Samira Wiley recently talked about where and how her character ends up in Season 2, and how the drama fits into the current political landscape.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE social responsibility going into Season 2:
We knew we were doing something important. We knew that we wanted to make something with a lot of integrity. But to have it released to the world, and have them receive it in the way that they have, to have everyone talk about how timely the show is…we definitely didn't see all of that coming. I think for Season Two, there’s a sense, at least for me, of a new found responsibility to get the story right. To make sure that we're giving, you know, our audience what they have come to know and love about the show. And stay consistent with that.
On her character, Moira’s tragic past:
To be honest, I think coming from the perspective of my character, one of the things that is obviously horrible is the rape. But I think for Moira, and for people, women who are gay, it is an affront that is indescribable and just the worst thing that could ever happen to you. To be violated in that way. Any woman, but of course a women who doesn't even have sex with men by choice, I think it's indescribably horrible. That’s what I feel is the most horrible thing for Moira to go through.
What to expect from Moira in Season 2:
Yes, Moira’s going to be [in Canada] in Season Two. I'll tell you that much. She’s reunited with Luke. And they have to kind of form this makeshift family, and move to a place in Canada called Little America.
She gets a job at the Embassy because she was so affected by that moment when she first got into Canada and how much the Embassy helped her. So she has in turn taken that and is helping refugees in the refugee center.
And when you think about Moira being a refugee, you think about how wonderful that is. She’s escaped, and she’s in this new place. But, as a refugee, it's also f***ing terrible because you don't know the land. You're not with your people. And it's this rollercoaster that I think we're going to see with her, the good and the bad of being a refugee.
How she brings Moira to life:
We always talk about nature versus nurture. And I think Moira’s nature is a person that's just a bull dog. Like she's a badass, she's got that ingrained in her.
In the scene where she's at Jezebel's and she's been broken and has the conversation with June, I think she comes back to herself in that moment, in that conversation with her best friend. June is able to say, basically where are you, where have you gone? This is not you.
And I think in that moment she comes back to herself and she realizes, oh, I'm not a victim, or I don't have to be a victim. I can be proactive and I can figure out how to get out of here.
For me, in terms of bringing life to the character, I think a lot of that has to do with all the things that make her a minority. She's black, she's gay, she's a woman. Me being all of those things in my life as Samira, I can tell you that definitely influences the way that I move through the world. So I think that's one of the things that I can point to.
On the themes of hope and empowerment in THE HANDMAID’S TALE:
Honestly, in the last episode of the first season, doing the escape scene we had drones following me. I was like, this is awesome. It’s was a moment of almost too much joy to even take because Moira’s escaped to Canada. It is a story of survival. It is a story of perseverance. And I think that a lot of times people focus on how dark the show is but the message that we want to keep beating, the under beat of the whole show, is this message of hope.
How THE HANDMAID’S TALE has contributed social conversations:
You know when you're working on something, whatever it is, you always hope that it impacts whoever's going to watch it. Whether that's one person or a bunch of people. You want them to have a conversation they wouldn't have had otherwise. I want people to think about something they wouldn't have thought about without seeing the project.
So to see that, and to see how the show has impacted the whole world, and also Hillary Clinton quoted the show…all of those things are very overwhelming and also very humbling to know that something that you're doing is out there in people’s consciousness.
Why women working behind the cameras is just as important as in front:
Yes, I've been really blessed to be on The Handmaid’s Tale and Orange is the New Black, to be surrounded by so many women in power…the women in the cast, the directors. Even in The Handmaid’s Tale last season, every single director we had was a woman, except for one.
I do feel really naive and lucky to be in this position because I haven't been surrounded by a bunch of men. And I do think that is completely a reflection of the time that I am working in. You know, thank God that I am working in this time. I think it's our job really as artists to reflect the time that we are living in so that people can look back and say that was going on.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Season 2 premieres Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.