Maggie Phillips Interview: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ music supervisor
When music supervisor Maggie Phillips joined the creative team on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” in season two she wanted to “feature more female artists” on the soundtrack because “it’s such a female-driven show.” The Emmy Award-winning series imagines a future in which women are forced to become concubines in a theocratic society, and it centers on one woman, June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss), who fights against that system. Phillips chose songs to reflect June’s music taste, asking herself, “What would she have played in her head?” June “seems like the kind of lady that would want a lady representing her,” so Phillips sought out female vocalists and musicians to underscore various scenes. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
This year Phillips also worked on the second season of FX’s “Legion,” a psychedelic take on the Marvel universe that focuses on a disturbed young man (Dan Stevens) who discovers he has special powers. Because Phillips, creator Noah Hawley, and composer Jeff Russo “had already established the world that we’re living in” in season one, the biggest difference in year two was greater freedom “to have a little more fun. We only wanted to go bigger and weirder.” Another change was the use of more song covers in order to “find something that was super unique just for the show.”
In addition to her work on “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Legion,” Phillips has lent her talents to “Patriot,” “Animals,” “Fargo,” “Snowfall,” “Altered Carbon,” and “Counterpart,” among others. She has also worked on such films as “Cyrus” (2010), “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” (2011), “The Kings of Summer” (2013), and Best Picture Oscar-winner “Moonlight” (2016).