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The Top 10 Things I Learned From The Handmaid’s Tale Cast

The Top 10 Things I Learned From The Handmaid’s Tale Cast
After a pandemic-extended break, my favorite show on tv/streaming is back! The Handmaid's Tale is now dropping new episodes on Hulu. In advance of their fourth season, I got to chat with cast members: Joseph Fiennes, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Amanda Brugel, Sam Jaeger and executive producer Warren Littlefield. You can watch video of the interviews, this coming weekend Advocate Channel. But here are 10 bonus facts I learned, during my conversations.

#10 Alexis Bledel does not have a Gilmore Girls clause in her contract.
Recently, actress Lauren Graham made headlines, when she revealed that she now has a clause in all her contracts, that would allow her to take part in any new reboots of her hit series, Gilmore Girls. I asked her co-star, Alexis, if she had any such clause. Her response was: she does not.

#9 Elizabeth Moss can do anything!
This season, Elizabeth not only continues to give the most physically and emotionally grueling performance of any actor in the history of television…but she also directs several episodes! I asked her co-stars how it was to work with her in that capacity and they all raved about her.
Madeline Brewer, who plays Janine, said that being directed by Elizabeth also allowed her to get inside her mind as an actress. Once she gave Madeline a note about a scene. Madeline's response…"wish I'd thought of that".

#8 Amanda Brugel is a proud Canadian.
Last season's finale (spoiler alert) was the most emotional episode of TV I've ever seen. I cried the first time I watched it. I cried the second time I watched it. It results in dozens of children being rescued from oppressive Gilead and brought safely to Canada. Amanda is a crucial part of that rescue. I asked her what it was like to shoot such an episode. She told me how proud she was to be a Canadian. And that when she walked into the airport hanger and saw a giant Canadian flag hanging there, she cried tears of pride.

#7 Sam Jaeger is not a big social media guy.
I asked Sam if he had been hearing from excited fans, who were desperate for new episodes. His response: "I've just been trying to keep my family alive". In other words, he's not on social media, but instead spent this time in quarantine, hanging with his loved ones.

#6 Alexis Bledel is not great at keeping spoilers to herself.
During the course of my interview with her, Alexis dropped a major spoiler. Because I love her so much, I forgive her. Because I love you the reader so much, I will not repeat this spoiler, so it doesn't ruin the moment when it happens. But, note to self, don't trust Alexis with plot secrets.

#5 Joseph Fiennes doesn't get as much hate as you might think.
Joseph plays the horrific, Commander Fred. A rapist and architect of a fundamentalist country. And yet, he claims that out in public, he doesn't get too much hate. He says he gets a lot of strange looks, from people who recognize that he's someone they know and should not like. But often they can't place him. Although Joseph admits he's happy people are now wearing masks, which cut down even more on any potential reactions to his character's awful nature.

#4 Season 4 is fantastic!
I've been lucky enough to see advanced screeners of the first 8 episodes. They are phenomenal. The intensity is only greater than previous seasons. The emotion is only heightened. I can't say enough about this outstanding show. How they pulled off what they did, during a pandemic is nothing short of a TV miracle.

#3 This cast is really thoughtful about the roles they play.
From Joseph Fiennes to Madeline Brewer to Amanda Brugel, each time I asked a "deep" question about the psyche of the character they play…they had phenomenal, insightful, thoughtful answers. From Joseph waxing philosophical on how Fred got so lost in his beliefs that led him to the crimes he commits. To Madeline's understanding of how and why Janine is able to endure even after so much brutality to maintain her loving, joyful spirit. To Amanda sympathizing with Rita's difficulty in re-integrating into a free society after escaping Gilead at the end of season 3. They don't just play the roles, they care very deeply about them.

#2 Mark Tuello is not the father of Serena's baby…or is he?
When I asked Sam Jaeger about a theory my fanatic friend, Angie, had about his character…he seemed genuinely stunned. Angie wondered if Sam's character, Mark, might be the father of Serena Joy's baby? After all, he is basically her prison guard while in custody in Canada. Sam at first said 'no'. But then coyly backtracked and claimed could "neither confirm nor deny". I'm holding him to the 'no'.

#1 There is more Handmaid's Tale to come!
Hulu has already announced that the show has been picked up for Season 5. But I went straight to Executive Producer Warren Littlefield, to find out if even more could be on the way. His answer: "yes"!
In 2019 Handmaid's Tale author, Margaret Atwood, released a follow up book, called: The Testaments.
Mr. Littlefield (he asked me to call him Warren, but I respect him too much to do that) told me that they now have the rights to The Testaments! After The Handmaid's Tale is successfully wrapped up, they will then transition into the next book! As a fan that was thrilling to hear! Mr. Littlefield told me he and fellow EP Bruce Miller are working closely with Margaret Atwood to make sure they have a smooth transition into the next book, when the time is right.

Praise be! Under his eye! Stay tuned...

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