Yvonne Strahovski Interview: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
“Have we gone too far on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’?,” laughs Yvonne Strahovski during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above) about the intense second season currently streaming on Hulu. The multiple Emmy-winning dystopian program won as Best Drama Series last September.
Strahovski’s character Serena Joy has played a more pivotal role this season, culminating in a devastating climax in the eighth episode, where she is brutally beaten by her husband for her disobedience. “It was awful,” the actress admits about filming the shocking scene. “Once we started filming, on the day, it was so interesting to see how affected the crew was by the scene,” she reveals. “It was audible, the reaction. People were I guess a mix of horrified and disgusted by what we were going to do as part of the story.
“The reason why it is so shocking is that it is happening to a woman who is at the top of the food chain; she is one of the elite,” Strahovski explains. “What it shows is that nobody is safe,” she says. “That is what is so magical about Serena’s journey this season is that it is a realization for her. Nobody is safe, in light of what she is about to do, as she is about to become a mother, and what does that mean for her and her child and her ideal of motherhood.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, and stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, an enslaved ‘handmaid’ forced to give birth for the barren ruling class in a near-future dystopia where the authoritarian theocracy of Gilead has usurped and replaced America as we know it. Strahovski plays Serena Joy, the wife of a Commander (played by Joseph Fiennes), who is “expecting” her first child through their handmaid Offred.
The show swept the Emmys last year, winning eight awards in total. Strahovski is thrilled with how the show has been received and remains excited about how relevant the show remains this season. “It’s this amazing magical alignment with the real world and what has been going on,” she declares. “It’s empowering and amazing to be part of something like this that has spoken to so many people on this level. We’re inspiring people. It feels good to be a part of something, that has been a little bit of the contribution behind the #MeToo and #TimesUp, the resistance, the marches, people are wearing the red cloaks in protest. That’s something. It’s very special.”