Stuart Biddlecomb interview: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ cinematographer
Of all the shocking moments throughout the history of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” none quite rattled audiences like hearing the teenage Mrs. Keyes (played by Mckenna Grace) recount the horrors of her abuse in a sustained monologue during the first episode of Season 4.
“It’s hard being a teenager, it’s hard playing a teenager and it’s hard playing a teenager who has been abused. So, I always wanted to be very careful telling her story,” Grace told Gold Derby previously about her character on the Hulu drama.
For cinematographer Stuart Biddlecomb — who shot Grace’s lauded performance as well as numerous other big moments in seasons three and four — the goal was to let his actress shine through.
“The performance she gave was just stunning. Half my job is also just making sure I can capture that,” he says during the Gold Derby Meet the Experts: Cinematographers panel (watch the exclusive video above). “We are incredibly lucky that we have gotten an incredible cast on this show. From Mckenna to [Elisabeth Moss], of course … as long as I’m able to capture those performances I think I’m doing a good job.”
Biddlecomb joined the show in Season 3 and said part of his responsibility was to uphold the great visual look of the show that came before.
“For me to change that, I think was wrong,” he says. “It has got a look, it has got a very strong look from day one. For me to change, I think, would be the wrong move.” Of the cinematography, Biddelcomb says, “It’s almost a character in itself.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is often not for the faint of heart. But Biddlecomb says he always tries to find a balance between the grim subject matter and the audience’s hope.
“There needs to be a light at the end of that tunnel. There needs to be an outcome, there needs to be something the audience can believe in and hold on to,” he says. “Hopefully I can do that with the lighting.”
Season 4 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is streaming now on Hulu.