“The Handmaid’s Tale” fans are shouting from the rooftops that the recently concluded fourth season is one of its best yet. And that’s thanks in no small part to the show’s talented cast members. Hulu’s one-time Best Drama Series winner (2017) has claimed six acting trophies through the years for lead actress Elisabeth Moss, supporting actress Ann Dowd, guest actresses Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley and Cherry Jones and guest actor Bradley Whitford. Now a whopping 19 of the Season 4 cast members are in contention for the upcoming 2021 Emmys, as they’ve officially been submitted on the academy’s performer ballot.
Moss returns as June/Offred, who flees her villainous captors and journeys across fictional post-democratic America after successfully saving the lives of dozens of children in the previous season. For the first time, Joseph Fiennes has been upped from the supporting race to the lead category. His Commander Waterford spends the season behind bars in Canada after being arrested for the various crimes he committed in Gilead.
Four supporting actresses have been submitted: Dowd as Aunt Lydia, Wiley as Moira, Madeline Brewer as Janine and Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford. And they’re matched in number by four supporting actors: Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence, O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello and Max Minghella as Commander Nick Blaine.
Among the nine eligible guest stars, which are those whom the Emmy rules state must appear in less than 50% of the episodes, the standout is newbie McKenna Grace. She plays teenager Esther Keyes, the wife of an ailing Commander, who runs her farmhouse but aspires to be so much more. Mrs. Keyes sees June as a sort of superhero figure, even claiming she had a dream they were killing the Gilead criminals together. Not creepy at all!
Here’s a closer look at all 19 “The Handmaid’s Tale” cast members submitted on the 2021 Emmy ballot:
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred
BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Joseph Fiennes as Commander Waterford
BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Madeline Brewer as Janine
Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia
Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford
Samira Wiley as Moira
BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR
O-T Fagbenle as Luke
Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello
Max Minghella as Commander Nick Blaine
Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence
BEST DRAMA GUEST ACTRESS
Zawe Ashton as Oona (“Vows”)
Alexis Bledel as Emily (“Testimony”)
Amanda Brugel as Rita (“Milk”)
Ever Carradine as Naomi Putnam (“Progress”)
McKenna Grace as Esther Keyes (“Pigs”)
Nina Kiri as Alma/Ofrobert (“Nightshade”)
Krista Morin as Rachel Tapping (“The Crossing”)
Bahia Watson as Brianna/Oferic (“Nightshade”)
BEST DRAMA GUEST ACTOR
Stephen Kunken as Warren Putnam (“Progress”)
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