By ABBIE BERNSTEIN / Employees Author
Posted: June 6th, 2019 / 11:14 PM
THE HANDMAID’S TALE, which simply premiered its third season on Hulu, has been a phenomenon. Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, THE HANDMAID’S TALE in its first turned the primary collection on a streaming service to win Emmys for Outstanding Drama, Excellent Lead Actress (Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia), Excellent Path (Reed Morano), Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Visitor Actress (Alexis Bledel as Emily/Ofglen), and Excellent Production Design for a Narrative Modern or Fantasy Program. The second season introduced two more Emmy wins (Visitor Actress for Samira Wiley, Excellent Modifying, and a second win for Production Design), and more nominations for Excellent Drama, Moss, Dowd, Bledel, plus Yvonne Strahovski’s efficiency as Serena Joy, Joseph Fiennes’s performance as Commander Fred Waterford, and additional classes.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE is about in a dystopian near-future the place the former United States is now “Gilead,” a quasi-religious, fascist state. The subjugation of girls by men is full and brutal. Fertility is now uncommon, so ladies who can bear youngsters are taken by highly effective males as “handmaids” who are impregnated in a ceremony that includes not solely the lads, however their infertile wives.
Bruce Miller adapted THE HANDMAID’S TALE for Hulu. As an government producer, he shared within the Excellent Drama Emmy win; as a author, he gained an Emmy for his Season 1 script “Offred” and was nominated for the second-season teleplay June.” Miller’s earlier work consists of writing and producing on ER, EVERWOOD, MEDIUM, THE 4400, IN PLAIN SIGHT, EUREKA, ALPHAS, and THE 100.
ASSIGNMENT X: Have been you the one that initiated THE HANDMAID’S TALE with Hulu, or did they arrive to you with it?
BRUCE MILLER: They came to me with it. It was initiated quite a long time in the past, from what I understand. But I read the ebook once I was in school, and had needed to do it since then, so when it turned an open writing task, Ilene Chaiken wrote a script for Showtime, after which Showtime put it in turnaround, Hulu bought it, and then I feel Ilene was simply busy with different things. She’s a busy lady. So that’s once they introduced me up.
AX: Do you assume that it matters with this specific materials if the writer is male or feminine, or simply writing with empathy and good faith?
MILLER: Oh, I feel it definitely issues. It matters any time you’re employed on any material. You all the time take a look at the things which might be totally different from you, from not only the characters, but from the individuals who find inspiration in that materials. I was very interested in Offred as a personality, how robust, and sensible, and plucky she was, and how careful she was at cataloguing things that occurred on the planet. So I by no means really thought of it as a lot as a lady’s story as I assumed it was Offred’s story. But whenever you get on a show, I’m all the time trying to rent people who assist fill in the areas the place I’m not as robust. And positively I solely can imagine so much a few lady’s life, and so I surrounded myself with sensible, stubborn, outspoken, very artistic ladies.
AX: Properly, when it comes to the subject matter, whereas men do get raped, it’s more of a day-to-day worry for ladies …
MILLER: Yes, completely. And here it’s a certain type of institutionalized rape that was arduous even for the ladies to get their heads around. How would she really feel after months and months, or years and years, of this expertise? Some parts are distinctive for everyone, after which some, as you stated, some are unfortunately easier for ladies to get their heads around.
AX: There’s a moment early in THE HANDMAID’S TALE where June’s face is emotionless, however we hear her assume in voiceover, “I want to get out a machine gun.” Did you assume, “We need to counter as passive as she’s being facially with letting us hear her be furious within her mind”?
MILLER: I feel it truly came concerning the other method, that there was the voiceover, and Lizzie countered it facially, that she was the one who made it look like nothing was happening behind her eyes, while she did that. She’s so good at that, the place she manages to play counterpoint to those very troublesome things that she’s fascinated with.
AX: Did you forged Elisabeth Moss after an audition process, or did you take a look at her physique of labor and go, “She seems like the right person”?
MILLER: She’s extraordinary. I’ve been a fan of hers ceaselessly, from WEST WING. So I used to be thrilled that she was out there and and would think about studying it. So I felt principally like, “I hope we can get lucky enough to get someone like Lizzie.”
AX: Did Elisabeth Moss recommend Alexis Bledel for Ofglen/Emily because Moss had worked for years with Bledel’s husband Vincent Kartheiser on MAD MEN?
MILLER: [Moss] definitely informed us that [Bledel] was pretty to work with. However Alexis Bledel is who I needed from the very first time I considered the position.
AX: Whenever you’re designing scenes, are they strictly about furthering the narrative, or do you assume, “We want people to come away feeling this way about the characters”? Because, for example, typically in the scenes with Aunt Lydia, you are feeling more sympathetic than you think about you may, whereas in the flashbacks with Fred and Serena Pleasure, you begin to despise them much more than you did before …
MILLER: We try to inform a narrative. It’s leisure. We’re making an attempt to inform a narrative that’s a story, that folks can comply with. So I feel the emotional arcs of the characters are what drive those scenes. We think of the scenes as, “Okay, what part of the story are we telling?” But once you get in the scene, you’re getting it not from what we would like the characters to do, however what the characters would do. We begin on a very, really primary degree, which is, “What would really happen?” And it’s a weird state of affairs, but you continue to have to consider what would really happen in this state of affairs, what would individuals really say, what would they really do? Don’t invent anything, and don’t ignore something.”
AX: Can you speak concerning the mock-execution firstly of Season 2, where June and plenty of different handmaids consider they’re going to be killed?
MILLER: It simply seemed like that is what would really occur after the top of Season 1. We’re not making an attempt to invent cruelties. So what we have been making an attempt to do is one thing that, logically, in other nations, that they might do on this state of affairs to punish ladies and try to convey their conduct in line. This is what our research advised us would occur, and then we simply did it in sort of a dramatic method, but in addition, simply putting some of those issues in our world in places that really feel like our world make them that rather more horrifying.
AX: You’ve stated THE HANDMAID’S TALE isn’t going to be ripped from the headlines, however are you able to speak about a number of the issues which are happening right now that you simply’ve discussed within the writers’ room that inform any of the storylines?
MILLER: Yeah. I feel the show is definitely not ripped from immediately’s headlines. I might say in all probability extra as we speak’s headlines are ripped from the guide. But the entire Resistance motion and the Ladies’s March and the #MeToo motion have all been large factors of dialogue, just because swiftly, individuals are beginning to speak about issues that folks have been shy about speaking about just a little whereas in the past. And so any time individuals are extra open, especially truthfully the extra horrible and dark elements of their character, their political factors of view, that they are expressing brazenly, I truly assume it’s in all probability pretty good for the world, no less than that we’re talking about them, but that’s where we’re with the ability to see how Aunt Lydia would assume, how the Commander would assume, how these individuals are considering they’re doing good on the planet. So we undoubtedly have talked about these things in the writers’ room, however I feel that we are also very international, when it comes to, there’s numerous these things, the refugee crisis, simply the change in regulation in Saudi Arabia where they allowed ladies to drive, that entire discussion in the writers’ room.
So all of those issues about, just about how the world works when it comes to between the relationship between governments and faith, between individuals and government, between men and women, all of these sorts of issues – all of the individuals within the writers’ room are so much smarter than I am, they all usher in actually fascinating concepts and factors of view, and never just issues which are occurring now, however things which are occurring now in comparison with issues that happened prior to now. We stay in a rustic that was founded on Puritan values. Puritan values aren’t spiritual freedom, they’re Puritan values. So we undoubtedly have people who can take a look at the newspaper, but in addition put it into context.
AX: There’s clearly a number of meals for thought, however are you placing forth any specific message with THE HANDMAID’S TALE?
MILLER: In some ways, I need to depart that up to the audience. You don’t need to inform the audience – that’s type of mansplaining [laughs] – how one can really feel concerning the present. You simply need to current the story, inform the story in an fascinating means, in a singular, difficult method, because I’ve Lizzie, who has a primary circuit cable connecting her coronary heart to her face, and so all of these emotions come out. And you then need to let the audience take away, and that I feel is among the nice advantages of the present, is that the individuals I’ve talked to, everyone takes away one thing totally different. And should you start to making an attempt to only put it, “This is about this, this is about motherhood, this is about marital relations, this is about women’s sovereignty over their own bodies,” then that’s what it’s all about, however that’s not what we’re making an attempt to do. We try to inform every scene as a story about this scene, these two individuals, and the collective impact of that’s actually up to the viewer.
AX: Does the success of THE HANDMAID’S TALE trigger you to do something in a different way with it than you did if you began, whether or not it’s how you strategy the narrative, slightly extra strong contracts with actors in order that they don’t take other jobs that might battle with the present, extra on-set security to discourage excited followers, or disgruntled non-fans, or …?
MILLER: We take safety incredibly significantly on our show, on every degree, especially defending our forged and crew from people who find themselves either simply curious, or – we just don’t need a shock to be an awful surprise. So we hired many more individuals to look into that, had a lot of discussions about all of that stuff. And when it comes to approaching story, we tried as exhausting as attainable to not change how we strategy story. Considered one of this stuff is, you take a look at Season 1 and you assume, “Who were those smart people who made that and won all those awards? I wish we had those people.” And also you need to keep in mind, “Oh, that was us.” I feel the most important mistake that I’ve seen individuals make [on other shows] is that they only overlook what they did Season 1, they usually do one thing totally different, after which swiftly, you get a special show, and it might or will not be good, however I feel the best way we worked in Season 1 was very, very profitable when it comes to getting cool stories and unique tales up on television, and we’re just going to try to hold doing that.
AX: And what would you most like individuals to find out about THE HANDMAID’S TALE?
MILLER: That it’s not about being crushed over the top. It’s a hopeful story about surviving a tough state of affairs.
This interview was carried out throughout Hulu’s portion of the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour.
Associated: Exclusive Interview with THE HANDMAID’S TALE star Ann Dowd
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